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Mail order bagels

I would like to order some bagels to have Thanksgiving morning and in the past I've ordered H&H with great success but was curious if anyone had any other suggestions or should I stick with the tried and true?

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  1. Y'know, when I was away at college I thought of ordering bagels from NYC, but the cost to ship perishable goods overnight was crazy -- somewhere around $35 or so just for shipping.

    Is it worth it to you?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Covert Ops

      For everyday, no. But for the holidays, yes.

      1. re: Cheese Boy

        Ess-a-bagel will ship, but you have to call the Third Ave. shop, 212-980-1010.

      2. I have ordered from Bagel Boss on Long Island for my parents (http://bagelboss.com) and they were fast and fresh. Shipping is ridiculous but if you want GOOD bagels, it's worth it!

        1. Don't they sell bagels in the grocery store where you live?

          1 Reply
          1. I don't understand what that means?

            9 Replies
            1. re: FishMPLS

              True NY bagels are a step above bagels elsewhere IMO (and the opinion of many).

              1. re: FishMPLS

                It's hard to explain.

                Bagels you get at the grocery store (especially brands like Thomas's) are nothing but thick, bready, doughy, tasteless long-distance cousins of NY bagels.

                NY bagels are more dense, yet not heavy, chewy and have a unique, I find slightly salty, flavor. They are absolutely wonderful and virtually impossible to find out of the area.

                1. re: FishMPLS

                  What that means: Proper New York style bagels are boiled in water at some point in their preparation.
                  Anything else is just a glorified "bread ring".

                  1. re: Motosport

                    Bingo. It's almost a guarantee that a supermarket or standard bakery is NOT boiling the bagels. If they aren't boiled, they aren't bagels. This isn't an "authenticity snob" thing. Boiling (in barley malted water, I believe) is what distinguishes a bagel. It's like saying you can boil ribs and call it barbecue.

                    1. re: sbp

                      I agree completely about boiling bagels.
                      FYI: It is a common practice to par boil ribs to cut down on the cooking time. I like to slow cook the ribs.
                      To each his own except for bagels. Water bagels are the only bagels.
                      Let's not get started on Bialy's!!!!

                      1. re: Motosport

                        Way off topic but it's not common to boil ribs to make true barbecue ribs. Who wants rib water?

                        1. re: Motosport

                          I know it's done, though I don't do it. But my point was not parboiling but serving wholly boiled meat as barbecue. You can call it that, but it ain't.

                        2. re: sbp

                          My understanding is that bagels are boiled in potato water, but this may also be a regional (Eastern European) thing.

                          1. re: acgold7

                            The recipes I've seen call for barley malt. The sugars in the water promote browning/caramelization of the crust when it is baked after boiling.

                    2. Stick w/ H & H. I have always had good luck with them. Enjoy.

                      1. Realize this is an old thread, but would love to hear some responses!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Dax

                          Yes, given that this is a 5-year old thread that has been revived:

                          Good bagels start to stale within about an hour after being moved out of the oven. There is a steep half-life drop in quality. (Mediocre bagels, which is to say most bagels, may have been made with techniques designed to improve shelf live, which is the Faustian bargain).

                          I don't think there are bagels worth getting other than directly at the counter soon after they are made.

                          1. re: Karl S

                            I know I'm just so sad there are no good boiled then baked bagels in Birmingham. Oh well, I'm in the city briefly over Labor Day so will have to make do then.

                        2. Have you ordered bagels by mail in the past? Do you know what kind baking process the bagels went thru at the bakery? I don't know about you, but I expect the bagels to be boiled and baked with a good crust. Some bagel purveyors sell soft bread donuts, not true bagels. And since I'm being my usual opinionated self, fruit should not be an ingredient baked in a bagel. My people did not have time to put fruit in bagels as they fled Pharaoh across the Red Sea. The bagels could've been used as a ammunition to defeat the Egyptians if the bagels were hard enough.

                          Richmond has no bagel bakery?

                          7 Replies
                            1. re: ChiliDude

                              Like you, I am opinionated about bagels, and many other things. My people didn't make bagels at the time they fled Egypt. Bagels were invented (sic) about 500 +- years ago in eastern Europe (modern day Poland).

                              I also concur that bagels MUST be boiled before baking. Merely steaming or left to rise in a retarder yields a bread product that is not a true bagel.

                              I'm old enough to have started making bagels by hand in a New Haven bakery as a young teen. Later they switched to machine made bagels, but always boiled, then baked.

                              I don't believe bagels should have filling in the dough, but seeds, onions, salt or garlic are fine as dipped toppings before baking. The only exception is a true rye bage with caraway seeds mixed in the dough, nowadays almost impossible to find.

                              As for mail order, when I travel away from greater NY on business in the USA, I order overnight from H&H (www.hhbagel.com) well worth the expense.

                              1. re: bagelman01

                                Are you sure that bagels were not created before the Diaspora? I guess my attempt at humor did not get a rise out of you. I grew up on the Southside of Chicago, and there was a deli in the neighborhood that had real bagels. NYC is not the only place that true bagels could be found.

                                1. re: ChiliDude

                                  As my post stated:
                                  "I'm old enough to have started making bagels by hand in a New Haven bakery ..."
                                  New Haven is NOT NYC and cerftainly had loads of authentioc bagels availoable. i never claimed true bagels could only be found in NYC.
                                  I stated that when I travel in the USA away from greater NY I order overnight from H&H. I kinow the quality of H&H, why should I have to search a new area for a quality bagel when I'm on a tight business schedule.

                                  Maybe when you grew up on the southside of Chicago 'real bagels' were available. My last few trips to Chicago did not yield acceptable bagel choices, not even in Skokie.

                              2. re: ChiliDude

                                Not to speak of......there are 3 (I think), one I don't like the shape of the bagel and they seem sllightly undercooked (Jaks), one is not any better than Panera (Pirozzos) and the other is across town and I have not been to (the name escapes me right now).

                                1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                  When I first posted here, I did not realize that your original post was almost 5 years ago. Now I wish to know what action did you take to acquire bagels almost 5 years ago?

                                1. re: kpaxonite

                                  A great bagel, but what makes you think they ship overnight to the USA. Also, Montreal bagels, especially from St. Viateur Bagel Bakery tend to be in their prime for no more than 3 hours. They are far to thin and crusty to keep overnight.

                                  I lived in Montreal in the 70s and was a regular there.

                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                    Forgive my ignorance, b'man but what does boiling before baking do to make it better or authentic? Why can't just baking it be another, and equally authentic, option?

                                    1. re: mucho gordo

                                      Because the boiling is an essential part of what gives an authentic bagel its distinctive crumb and crust.

                                      Omitting boiling may make it subjectively better for people who don't prefer that distinctive crumb and crust, but it won't make authentic as a bagel....

                                      1. re: mucho gordo

                                        Not boiling a bagel would be like not frying a donut. There's a reason that these traditions are embedded in these recipes.

                                        1. re: mucho gordo

                                          If they are not boiled they are just a glorified "bread ring!" Might as well eat a pretzel.

                                        2. re: bagelman01

                                          Easy answer- Their website. They offer overnight shipping 3 days a week. I personally think they are best 1-12 hours after being made. However I keep mine up to five days.... A Montrealer would never think to not toast a bagels ( they are meant to be toasted) which is why I think they still taste great after 5 or 6 days. Supermarkets here sell them and Im sure they weren't made less than 3 hours before being put on the shelf.

                                          US order policies: http://www.stviateurbagel.com/content...

                                          1. re: kpaxonite

                                            Ha, I have a bag of 3 day old St Viateur bagels sitting on the kitchen counter right now. And they will get eaten.

                                            When they're fresh (like, still warm fresh) I like to just eat them on their own, all stretchy and yummy.

                                            1. re: kpaxonite

                                              Hmmm. I've eaten at St Viateur on visits to Montreal, and at the place they are not served toasted... There is also a place in Brooklyn (much closer to me, in NJ) that has Montreal bagels flown in (Mile End) and he serves them untoasted.

                                              Personally, I prefer them untoasted. Toasted makes them harder to distinguish from any other bagel.

                                              1. re: kpaxonite

                                                Interesting regional differences. I've always been taught that to toast a bagel was an abomination. A fresh bagel doesn't need it. Toasting is what you do to make a stale bagel edible.

                                                Or so I was taught as a kid. As my mom put it in her ever-so-delicate way, "Only goys do that."

                                          2. Janet, my fellow Richmond resident, you have no need to order bagels by mail. Get on I-64 West, go to Charlottesville and hit up Bodo's Bagels. Run by two guys from Brooklyn, authentic water bagels. Three locations. I was born and raised in New Jersey, I know good bagels. Trust me, Bodo's won't disappoint you.

                                            /despite grain avoidance may or may not have a dozen garlic Bodo's lurking in my freezer

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: MandalayVA

                                              My best friend's daughter goes to UVA....I'll have to get her to bring some home!

                                              1. re: MandalayVA

                                                I just tried these for the first time and they were really good. I've been making my own because I haven't found ones I love in NoVa but these far surpass mine and anything I've found. I didn't think to freeze them but will stock up next time. And, the one I ate at the store was hot. Excellent.

                                              2. As an ex-NYer now living in a bagel-poor section of FL, I've discovered Ray's NY Bagels in the frozen food section of our local supermarket. You have to bake them for 6-7 minutes. It's not the best bagel I've ever had, but it beats what's made around here & also a lot of what I had living in NY.