Sunday, August 17, 2008

Montreal-style Vermont bagels versus Montreal bagels

The frozen Myer's Bagels: A Taste of Old Montreal caught my eye at the Price Chopper in Burlington, Vermont. Unlike the white-bread-style bagel rolls sold in the United States, these bagels looked like Montreal bagels. The product packaging played up that fact with its name and one of its features: Wood fired bagel.

But how would it compare to a Montreal-made bagel?

The competitors
Myer's Bagel versus Bagel de l'ouest bagel

A closer look
The Myer's Bagel looks like a Montreal bagel with its prune-like bagel skin. But notice that the Myer's Bagel comes pre-cut.

Inside surface
The inside of the Myer's Bagel looks rough, as if it was cut with a weird knife. Montreal bagels are never pre-cut, so the inside is cut by its owners. Will this affect the taste, I wonder.

Following moderate toasting and the application of Becel Light margarine, the bagels are ready for testing.

While it's true that I was testing a poppy seed bagel (black) versus a sesame seed bagel (white), I was still able to make some observations based on my knowledge and extensive experience eating bagels.

1. Density: The Myer's Bagel was a bit less dense than Montreal bagels. It wasn't as light as those disgusting white-bread style bagels. However, in fairness, the average bagel eater might not even notice.

2. Sweetness: Montreal bagels are known for their sweetness. The Myer's Bagel was not as sweet. Again, not as bad as the white-bread style bagels, but not quite a Montreal bagel.

3. Freshness: Part of the experience of Montreal bagels is buying them hot and fresh from the bakery and eating one on the way home. It makes a mess of the car, but it is one of those private common experiences that all Montrealers enjoy. The Myer's Bagel is frozen and bought at a supermarket, so it is unfair to compare it to a hot and fresh bakery-bought Montreal bagel. However, if you are like me and freeze your 10 and a half remaining bagels after buying them from the bakery, this is not a big deal.

4. Overall: If I lived it Vermont and needed a Montreal-bagel fix, the Myer's Bagel would be acceptable if my goal was to toast one.

Myer's Bagel: Not a bad choice if you live in Vermont.

UPDATE: I just learned that Myer's Bagel is also a bakery store in Burlington. Next time, I'll buy a fresh one and post my comments here.

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