Sunday, May 22, 2005

Montreal bagels

My family and I moved to Toronto 14 years ago from Montreal and are still partial to Montreal bagels. They're solid and sweet as opposed to Toronto bagels that (IMHO) are just soft rolls with holes. Montreal bagels taste great right out of the wood-burning oven, but go stale quickly and by day two are only good toasted. Of course you will never convince a true Torontonian that Montreal bagels are the real deal. And many a heated debate has be had over this issue, I assure you. My friends and relatives from Toronto swear by Gryfe's!

This weekend my daughter and her husband were visiting us. She moved to Halifax to go to Dalhousie University a number of years ago and basically never came home. So when she's in I naturally feel compelled to serve her favorite dishes from her time at home - both Montreal and Toronto. Naturally a trip would not be complete without Montreal bagels, lox and cream cheese with slices of Vidalia onions and tomatoes for breakfast. That's the main course followed by a second bagel with cream cheese and ginger marmelade - that's my dessert!

Interestingly, today "Pat on the Mountain" posted a comment to my first post, looking for a recipe for Montreal bagels. I personally BUY Montreal bagels, even here in Toronto at St Urbain Bagels, but I did find a website that has a recipe - check it out

It seems everyone believes that the bagels from their hometown are the best. Ask a New Yorker, and they'll agree with Montrealers that Toronto bagels don't rate. Of course they say the same thing to Torontonians about the ones from Montreal.

So whose bagels do you favor?


little sista said...

Well, you KNOW I completely agree with the Montreal bagel cult! "My Market Bakery" in Kensington Market has ACTUAL Montreal bagels most of the time, so for people like me who live downtown with no car, and who never go further north than Bloor except when they're going to your house for supper(haha)it's an idea. Thanks for the fiddleheads. They were GREAT! LOVE YOU. Bye.

Audrey Sasson said...

Audrey here - your longlost adopted Montreal daughter. Sharron (Shroon) filled me in on your blog endeavour - so very exciting! I look forward to following its progression...
As far as bagels go - of course, I'm a die hard Montreal bagel girl. But I've moved to NY recently (going to school) and have met a lot of diehard NY bagel people. And I have to confess, these NY bagels are pretty good. It's just, in my mind, they're not really bagels. I like them, but to be a bagel it has to come from St. Viateur street's wood burning ovens and has to be served to me by a perfectly bilingual anglo bagel craftsman. know what i mean?
My family didn't know, until recently, about the NY bagel craze, so when a NY friend of mine came to stay at my parents' house and brought NY bagels as a gift, my family totally innocently asked, "why the hell are you bringing us bagels?" - without a hint of irony. the person felt badly, i was embarassed, but in the end, it was actually quite funny!!
OK - that's it. can't wait to read more.
Love from NYC!
Audrey "Audge" Sasson

Anonymous said...

Hi Ruth,
As an American who spent six years in Toronto (and miss it terribly!), we had not only never had "Montreal-style" bagels, we were totally unaware of their existence. When we moved into Scarborough, and were looking for good bagels, friends told us we needed to go to Gryfe's on Bathurst. And thus started a love affair! We LOVE Gryfe's and miss them, and I got onto your blog by googling "Gryfe's bagels + recipe".

NYC bagels vs Montreal-style? It depends on what day it is! I love the chewiness of a NYC-style and I love the flavor of a Montreal-style. We recently found a bagel place close to where we live in central Pennsylvania (an area not conducive to lots of delis such as Coleman's on Bathurst or bakeries of any kind) which are quite good, but it's made me homesick for Gryfe's. I have a pretty good bagel recipe for NYC style, but nothing for Gryfe's.

Thus, Google found you for me, and you, GOD BLESS YOU, had a link for a recipe for Montreal-style bagels!

I'm ordering my malt powder from King Arthur Flour TODAY so I can try those bagels ASAP!

Thanks again
Sharon Abraham

Ruth Daniels said...

Sharon, thanks for stopping by and I'm glad you found me and glad I actually found the recipe!

Good luck with it.

Anonymous said...


for me I am originally from montreal and even as a little boy I used to love them and st urbain baagel at st lawrence market gives me that satisfaction you should really go I love it there no compitision truly the best better the all the rest

Anonymous said...

Montreal bagels are by far the best in the world and win over Toronto and anywhere else. There is no doubt about it. If you want to enjoy the real deal, my favorite bagel shop in Montreal, Mount Royal Bagel will ship to you dont even have to go out and try to find them & get them. Their toll free # is 1-877-LEBAGEL

catering Fort Lauderdale said...

Wow, this really is interesting. I have tasted varieties of bagels and all I can say is they are all delicious. I am not from Toronto and neither from Montreal so I really do not know where to stand, the fact that I have not tasted the bagels from either place. Anyway, thank you for sharing the site where I can have the recipe for Montreal bagels. I am not planning to judge it; I am just up for a new taste of bagel. Thank you.