Seeing some talk about bagels on Twitter yesterday, I made a mental note to conduct an Edmonton bagel throwdown last night. Conquering what I could after 5 o’clock, I ended up with 5 examples of a sesame seed bagel. Why sesame seed? Flip of the coin really, as I my main concern was keeping the type of bagel the same and I wasn’t going to go sweet. So with my mission underway, I started making my way around the Edmonton in hunt.
While I only ended up with 5 bagels, it wasn’t for a lack of effort. In fact, even my Safeway bagel required stopping at 4 locations before being lucky enough. I also stopped in at Planet Organic (no singles, or sesame seed), Bee Bell Bakery (closed at 5:30, I arrived at 6), Wal-Mart (only plain, blueberry, poppy seed), Great Canadian Bagel (closed) and Wild Earth Bakery and Grocery Store (no bagels). So I suppose I should be lucky that I was able to pick up examples from Save On Foods, Superstore, Sobeys, Tim Hortons and the previously mentioned Safeway. I realize there are plenty of bagel options, but I was keeping the test bagels to ones that were available in bins/loose (I only wanted to buy one) and not from a major bakery (Dempters for example) Now in no particular order;
Save On Foods
So have you suffered from picture overload? Just think of my jaw, that has now worked even harder than the time I tried to eat my shoe! I grew up on the classic (and true) bagels from Montreal, so I tried to keep those memories, and possible comparions to the back of my brain as I wet about eating these western version.
I shouldn’t be surprised in any way by the varying results, but there were some very notable things. Take for example the last two bagels (Superstore & Safeway), which were filled with pockets of air; that’s something you would never know from the outside right; or that the Sobeys bagel tasted like a bun with a hole in it. I did like that every bagel looked different, with none of the group looking like a machine-made bagel (even if they are). I also liked the variance in actual seed toppings; which clearly showed some bakers knew they were making a sesame seed bagel while might have considered the seeds an after-thought. From one bagel tasting like wonderbread (Sobeys), to one so loaded with sesame seeds that it was almost an unfair advantage (Safeway); this was a fun challenge. I understand that I can’t tell for sure when the bagel was made, but I’m working with what was available Friday around the supper hour. I’ll include a chart below to break down a few points, but should say that my favourite was the offering from Save On Foods. Tied for the title of heaviest bagel, it’s crusty like exterior hide a soft and dense interior that was fantastically chewy!
In order of my personal preference.
|Store||Exterior Texture||Interior Texture||Weight||Interior Feel||Chew Factor||Price|
|Save On Foods||Crusty||Soft||121gr||Dense||High||$0.80|
Now hopefully, along with your suggestions, I can round another 5 or so bagels up for round 2 of Bagel Throwdown!