Scot Rossillo lives in Massapequa but grew up in Brooklyn, making him an ideal candidate to have designed a crossover product for this crossover Islanders season.
The Islanders-themed bagels he has been making as creative director of The Bagel Store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, are hot sellers, a sign of the times for a team that has advanced to the second round of the playoffs in their first season in the borough.
“It’s a fun thing for me, because I get to be creative and be creative in a way that other people get to enjoy,” he said Friday as he rolled his latest colorful concoction — a pink-and-light-blue “promposal” bagel that can be presented as part of an invitation to a school prom.
Rossillo is one of the most renowned makers of colorful bagels, notably for his “rainbow” one. He made Islanders bagels around playoff time last year, too, but the obvious connection to Brooklyn has enhanced this year’s promotion.
“The rest of the year people don’t usually buy it,” he said. “They’ll definitely jump aboard [during the playoffs] for the camaraderie and support.”
The Bagel Store has delivered the Islanders bagels to team officials at Barclays Center. But it is not the only supplier of Isles-themed bagels. Bagel Master, located near the team’s training facility in Syosset, has its own colorful tribute and has delivered to Iceworks.
Rossillo said he has been colorizing bagels for 20 years, but does so more elaborately now than ever. “I had to continually refine it to make it as beautiful as it is now,” he said.
What type of coloring does he use? “Magic,” he said, then explained his reluctance to go into detail:
“Coloring has gotten a bad rap over the years, even though everything that you eat and you touch pretty much has a coloring in it. So I try not to harp on that because when people look at it their first reaction is to smile and be happy. That’s all I want from them. That’s why I stay away from those words. They have a bad undertone.”
The Islanders bagel, for all of its blues and oranges, has no special flavor. It tastes mostly like a plain bagel, but it comes with a suggested orange-colored, vanilla-flavored cream cheese.
Rossillo has made bagels tied to other teams, including others in blue and orange like the Mets, but he said each design differs and is specific to only one team.
He said he will keep making the Islanders version as long as there is demand, which presumably will be for as long as they are alive in the playoffs.
OK, so what exactly is in those things to make them those colors?
“Love,” Rossillo said. “I will tell you the truth: It’s 20 years of not seeing my kids, developing techniques. That’s to be honest with you. To do this type of work you have to be obsessed all the time.”