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Bagels - To crunch or not to crunch ?

Ok, a big complaint I have, and have noticed it in MANY bagel shops I go to or other misc places I buy a single bagel is why can nobody toast my bagel? Are bagels suppose to be chewy and cold? Is that the way they were intended to be eaten?

I get so thrilled about my morning bagel with "everything" on it and creamy cold shmear oozing out and I anticipate the crunch of the hot bagel and to my disspointment I get a chewy,lukewarm bagel..

I rarely complain but.. what is the real standard here?How are they REALLY suppose to be served and how do YOU like your bagel?

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  1. Born and raised in Montreal, where many wood-burning-oven bagel bakeries are open 24/7, in my opinion there's nothing better than a warm, freshly baked Montreal bagel. So delicious, it needs nothing on it. It's a rare occurrence that a dozen warm bagels arrive home without one or two disappearing along the way.

    Even when not warm, a Montreal bagel is great untoasted throughout the day it was baked. The following day, it's best toasted.

    And I'm sure in the "old country" in Eastern Europe, a bagel never saw a toaster, in whatever form they existed then.

    1. I agree with you...bagels need to be crunchy and toasted...and they need to have a good crispy crust to begin with, too, which so hard to find also these days. Biggest peeve here in my office in Florida: people who cut bagels vertically! Why should it bother me, it's not my bagel but they leave the vertically cut other half for someone else, too!

      1. I love my freshly baked bagels from Iggy's (Cambridge MA) which are chewy, not crunchy. After a day or two I toast them but I believe purists don't think bagels should ever be toasted.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cheryl_h

          I feel the same.. except a good hot, crunchy bagel is good sometimes.

        2. All the bagel shops I know of will slice and toast the bagel pre-schmear. If yours does not I would seek another unless the bagel is better at the shop in question.

          My biggest complaint with a toasted-schmear is what seems to be to your liking and that's the ooze effect. This is way too much work for me in the morning. Biting and flinching back as the ooze leaves and makes its ever targetted route to my lap. Nothing worse than cream cheese stains in the morning to ruin a day and a good pair of slacks. If you catch it before the plop, then you neead to treat the edges like a melting ice cream cone, tongue extended and fighting the clock before the plop.

          On a lazy sunday morning, a great toasted bagel or bialy open faced with a good schmear, a cup of coffee and the morning paper is heaven.

          A cold bagel is like a cold pastrami sandwich, you eat it but you know how to make it better.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jfood

            Hahaa on the cold bagel/pastrami comparison..

          2. I cannot eat an untoasted bagel. And I can't imagine why anyone else would want to. I need that crunch factor and I love how the hot bagel starts the melt the cream cheese. But I'm one of those people who hates even the slightest suggestion of burnt edges (that carbon flavor triggers my gag reflex) and I've only ever found one place (since closed) that didn't overtoast their bagels.