Acquired Tastes: Why the Montreal bagel is the superior bagel

Rivalries run deep on the East Coast, and one rift that’s less visible—but every bit as heated—is the bagel feud between New York City and Montreal. As someone who grew up halfway between the two cities in Connecticut, I’ve felt my allegiances tugged from both directions. My mother, being that she is from Montreal, tipped the scales. We never left the city without a few dozen bagels squirreled away among the packed luggage. Our freezer at home would run over with these dense, glutenous treats, and when we had them in the house, they were all I wanted to eat.

I will go to my grave defending the superiority of the Montreal bagel, but I really shouldn’t have to. Montreal bagels are more than just a bread product: They’re a cultural touchstone, the apotheosis of the bagel form. Show me another bagel that’s …

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