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Feb 11, 2007 02:06 PM

Bagels vs Bialys

It's Sunday and I can't decide which to have. What's your preference? Do you use the same spreads on both or do you, as I do, have distinct go-withs for each. What about the issue of toasting? Bagels toasted, bialys plain, or vice versa?

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  1. Gee, I have not had a bialy since I stopped working in Manhattan about 14 years ago. Bialy always toasted, with plenty of drippy butter. Untoasted tastes uncooked to me and the butter mixing with the little bits of onions are sooo good. Bagels you can do just about anything to.

    1. A well made bagel does not see the darkness of a toaster until it has started to get stale, unless you want to be charged with bagel abuse.

      Unfortunately, there are so many less than well made bagels out there these days that toasting those is not abuse.

      1. Munched on a bialy on the way back from the Bagel Hole (Brooklyn, NY), Yum. Un Toasted for me. Also brought back some Onion bagels, which we like, when fresh, un toasted, but toasted when we take them outa the freezer.

        I also never put any spread on my bialy, but use various things on the bagels, from whitefish spread, to cheese, to clotted cream, to lekvar etc.

        1. Let's start with the definition of a bagel. It includes plain, sesame, poppy, salt, onion. Other junk is not included in the bagel definition (sorry you guys who put blueberry and god forbid chocolate chips in bagels).

          Just like what to order on a menu, the mood guides which to choose. In FFD county CT we do not have a good bagel at all so i wait til i visit the in-laws in FL to eat the good stuff.

          I like poppy t he best, then sesame, plain and not fond of onion or salt.

          When I have my choice I do both a bagel and a bialy. I look at the bag and say "that one" for the bagel. Grab the cream cheese, shmear both sides, a little novey on one side and some sable or whitefish on the other. Eat away.

          The bialy is a little dryer and needs some more shmear or fish to offset the dryness.

          Next day I sneak into the kitchen grab a bialy and toast. then i put peanut butter on it. It be sacriledge but it is fantastic.

          4 Replies
          1. re: jfood

            Garlic bagels are also included in the definition of a bagel. But you are right about the blueberry.

            1. re: chazzer

              Can't get there with garlic chazzer, sorry. If you want garlic and bread, go Italian.

              1. re: jfood

                I disagree. As a jew, garlic is very much part of our culture as well. Garlic bagels would be perfectly fine as a typical bagel in my world.

                1. re: sivyaleah

                  Yes, and so it horseradish, gefilte fish and prunes, but not in a bagel.

                  If you were to bring some of my favorite bagels back from Israel (the soft kind) most NY Jews would throw them out, my FIL included. They want the crispy outside and tender inside.


          2. You're right jfood. Luckily bialys haven't been adulterated. I don't think they have been adopted by mainstream America and therefore no one has tried to make them "sexy" or fusion-ized them.

            1 Reply
            1. re: lucyis

              And that's why you need to eat them fast! They go bad quickly. I have found, however, they freeze much better than bagels. I wrap them in wax paper individually, then put them all into a plastic ziplock bag. Microwave them on "defrost" for about 15 seconds or so on each side and they come out nice and soft like they were just baked. But, you really need to freeze them as soon as you buy them.