So I was going to make this post strictly about a cool site, but have decided to spin it off a bit.
My friend (and roomie-to-be) Evan just showed me my newest addiction: BlogTO. I especially like their “Best of” lists which include the most important category: Best Bagels in Toronto (obviously Bathurst Street dominates). Just thought I would share this site with everyone, happy hunting!
This however sparked in my mind one of the most important questions of them all: Montreal or Toronto style bagels? I am surprised this debate has not sparked any wars yet though you never know. Maybe a revisionist historian one day will posit that Hitler really wasn’t mad at the Jews because of antisemitism, he was mad that he couldn’t get a good bagel.
Montreal bagels are dense and sweet whereas Toronto bagels are larger and fluffier. These two distinct styles make for a completely different tasting experience.
I guess when it comes down to it I lie in both camps depending on the day and what I am eating. In general, I like Toronto style bagels with peanut butter or with cream cheese - basically most spreads I find go better with the larger surface area of a Toronto style bagel. However, if I decide to have a bagel with cheese or deli meats, I would be more inclined to select a Montreal style bagel because of their dense texture and stronger flavour profile which compliments toppings. Even with the spreads that would normally go with a deli sandwich like ketchup, mustard, and or relish, I still find that the overall idea of the Montreal bagel works better with a deli sandwich. I would rather have two smaller Montreal bagel based deli sandwiches than one massive Toronto bagel sandwich. A Toronto bagel has a far too high bread to toping ratio unless your sandwich is too think to eat after packing it full of meat.
The exception to the topping rule for me is a burger or anything that is both a toping and has a tasty juice that you want to capture. In that case, I would have to once again select the Toronto style of bagel because they would soak up the juice of a burger whereas Montreal bagels are not meant to be absorbant.
Lastly, if you are planning on storing a sandwich made on a bagel for more than 30 minutes, you absolutely have to go with the Montreal style bagel. A Toronto bagel is more prone to going soggy and keeping odours packed inside of it that might not be so pleasant after a long morning of work.
I know this is a very controversial topic and I stand by my opinion. Many will disagree with me and either be more partisan than myself or perhaps argue that the inferior New York bagel trumps them all. To those dissidents I say: let them eat cake.