Bagels are an important part of the food culture in Montreal. The bagels in Montreal are different from the bagels I am used to but still delicious. Sesame seed is the standard bagel you will get if you go into the store and ask for a bagel. In Montreal there are many bagel shops but two stand alone, St. Viateur and Fairmont.
The original St. Viateur bagels opened in 1957, and remains open 24/7. They sell over 1,000 bagels a day. It was founded by Myer Lewkowicz who arrived from Eastern Europe bringing with him, his famous bagel recipe. Each bagel is hand rolled and baked in a wood-burning oven.
Fairmount bagles originally opened in 1919 when Isadore Shlafman moved to Canada. His bagels were also rolled by hand and cooked in a wood-burning oven. He moved to Fairmount Street in 1949 taking his shop with him. His family lived upstairs and he would go downstairs and cook the bagels.
Yesterday my friend Mahsa took me on a tour of mile end and had me taste test a bagel from each shop to see if I could tell the difference. First we stopped at St. Viateur. When I asked if I could take a picture the guy said to come on back and see how the magic was made. We got to help hold the paddle as bagels were taken out of the oven.
|Mahsa, Leah and the bagel guy taking bagels out of the oven|