The Great Bagel Debate

Andrew Sullivan —  May 5 2012 @ 8:18am


Martin Connelly moderates:

As a rule, New York bagels are salty and boiled in an alkaline water (made so through the addition of baking soda or lye). Montreal bagels are a little sweeter, boiled in a honey water, and smaller, too. … I called the best person I could think of to weigh in on the argument. Essayist Adam Gopnik spent much of his youth in Montreal and much of his adult life in the shining metropolis of New York, and he told me that there was no question as to the winner of a New York-Montreal bagel battle. “I have few fixed convictions in life, but one of them is that Montreal bagels are not just better than New York bagels or any other bagels, they’re so much better that I’m on kind of permanent house arrest about eating any other kind of bagel—I just can’t eat a New York bagel. If you toast it and there’s enough cream cheese and nova on it, it’s tolerable, but it just isn’t a bagel.”

Consider the gauntlet thrown.

(Photo of Montreal-style bagels from Eltana in Capitol Hill, Seattle, by Shawn McClung)