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Q: I'm originally from New York and have been searching in vain for any place that sells bialys. No one here has ever heard of them, and they are so much better than a heavy bagel. I also miss tofu-scallion cream cheese, but that would be pushing it for Denver.

A: Bialys are large, yeast-based onion rolls somewhat similar to bagels in texture but lighter, with a depression in the center where a hole would normally be; they come topped with finely chopped onion bits that have been browned slightly and then baked on. They're named for the Polish city of Bialystok and are Jewish in origin. I know of only one place in town that carries them: The Bagel Store (942 South Monaco Parkway, 303-388-2648). The bialys are made on the premises and cost 60 cents each; the Bagel Store is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

As for tofu-scallion cream cheese, the closest I can come is the spreadable Soya Kaas soy-based cream cheese sold at any of the Wild Oats or Alfalfa's markets in the Denver metro area. Eight-ounce tubs of plain or garlic-and-herb sell for $3.29 each, and vegetable goes for $3.89. Whole Foods in Boulder (2301 30th; 303-545-6611) carries both the plain and the garlic-and-herb for $3.19 each.

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