Bagels Have a Canadian Cousin

By AlyseInWonderland, USA, June 2011

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Bagels in the United States are synonymous with New York, but few Americans are aware that Montreal is also renowned for these breakfast breads. The Montreal bagel, however, is distinct from the New York bagel. Smaller, sweeter, and denser than its American cousin, the key to an authentic Montreal bagel is that it is boiled in honey-sweetened water before being baked in a wood-fired oven.

Like the ubiquitous New York bagel, the Montreal bagel immigrated with the Eastern European Jewish community in the early 1900’s. Since then, this style of tasty edible has dispersed all across Canada and has even made its way to the US in the Pacific Northwest. However, it is notably absent on the East Coast, where its New York rival still rules.

For the best bagels in Montreal, most people would point you in the direction of either Fairmount Bagel or St. Viateur Bagel, both in Mile End. These bakeries both claim a hand in originating the Montreal-style bagel and also boast being home to the best bagels in Montreal. Certainly the only way to assess whose claim is true is to grab a bagel from each and perform your own objective experiment!

Many outside of Montreal have tried to crack the secret to an authentic tasting bagel, but there exists an aura of mystique around the perfect recipe and cooking techniques to get it just right.  So let the experts at the Montreal bagel shops do it for you, while you enjoy the results. No true Montreal experience is complete without a bagel.

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