Dec 1, 2009

New York and Montreal bagels compared by The New York Times

By Bella Donohue, special contributor
Photos: Maria Ganem

It is just me, or is The New York Times obssessed with Montreal? I'be been loving the extensive coverage of the city, from poutine to dépanneurs and now... bagels, of course!

Yes, the famous Montreal bagels went head to head against the New York specimens in today's Times. Quite a thorough comparison, in fact, quoting several experts.

In the end, the paper concludes the bagels are simply different: neither can be declared the "winner". But Jennifer Lee, the reporter, did kinda let us know what she REALLY thinks when she wrote that she "had to give it to the artisanal quality of the bagels being made at St.-Viateur. They are hand-rolled and baked in wood-burning ovens, something that current New York City regulations would no longer allow. The process gives them a crisp and smoky crust on the outside. The bakers slip tidy lines of bagels in and out on long wooden slats, before flipping them into a bin. Their recipe was slightly different, using malt flour, and they are boiled in water with honey. And since they are skinnier, the hole is more pronounced."

And how does she know all that? She flew to Montreal to pick up a fresh batch to take back to her co-workers, for their assessment. Now that's what I call a sweet assignment. Why don't I ever get invited to go test the current state of New York's pastrami on rye? Surely it can't even come close to Shwartz's smoked meat sandwich, right? ;)

The full story, here.

Fairmount Bagel: 74 Fairmount Street West, tel. (514) 272-0667

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