Distinct and delicious, once you have sunk your teeth into the wood fired goodness of a steaming Montreal bagel, there is no turning back!
Montreal bagels are an institution and are known throughout the world. The key – baked in a wood fired oven after boiling in honeyed water….they literally melt in your mouth. If you are heading to Montreal, you need to sample their bagels – it is like going to Paris and tasting their sweet macaroons, you just gotta do it.
Personally, I always go for the traditional sesame seed bagel. They have just the right hint of sweetness in their chewy goodness. Fresh from the oven, melt some butter on top and I am in bagel nirvana! For the full experience, watch the bagel makers at work – the kitchens are generally open concept and you can watch the process from the shaping of the bagel right down to the finished product.
While they say bagels originated back in 1683, the story behind the Montreal bagel remains a bit of a mystery. The story and myth collide – did they originate from Czarist Russia or Kiev? Who is behind the bagel? While the true stories may be lost forever, the flavours and traditions remain. The two major bagel players in town are the St-Viateur Bagels and the Fairmont Bagel, each with their own loyal following. I have only sampled the St Viateur bagels myself, but I do find myself in good company as astronaut Gregory Chamitoff and singer Celine Dion are also fans. In 2008, Chamitoff brought some bagels with him on a mission to the International Space Station – I guess you can say – these bagels are out of this world!
Now that you are craving the best in bagels, how do you get your hands on them? The word on the street is that centres across Canada are trying to replicate the Montreal bagel, but they just don’t equate to the real deal! And New York bagels are no comparison…so, how do you get your Montreal bagels? A trip to Montreal is the best way, although you can have your bagels delivered to you by St Viateur (sorry, that is for Canadian and US readers only)!! St Viateur also has a food truck that moves around Montreal – check their site for locations!
The most famous bagel options:
- Fairmont Bagel – the original bagel bakery, founded in 1919. 74 av Fairmont West, Montreal
- St Viateur Bagel – over 55 years of bagels, they hand make 8,400 bagels a day (700 dozen!!!). 263 av St Viateur West, Montreal
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