Everyone deserves to discover the glorious magic that is the Montreal-style bagel. I feel sad knowing I have gone 25 years of my life without incorporating it into my daily existence, while generally expressing disdain and contempt for its bloated counterpart, the American-style bagel. (Note: I had my first Montreal-style bagel in Portland, from Tastebud, at their Farmer’s Market stall).
First of all, Montreal bagels are much smaller and firmer. I always hated American-style bagels because they taste so starchy and blah and bready and mealy and just too much. I avoided them until college, when my friend Leigh taught me to scoop out its tasteless insides, thus providing a small, crispy cradle for the (infinitely more delicious) fillings. But these! Have the perfect fluffy-insides-to-seed-speckled-crust ratio, and is just the right amount of bread for a very sturdy breakfast. They toast very well but I had the pleasure of eating one straight from the bakery, warm and fluffy and soft, and it was a revelation at 6pm.
We bought a dozen bagels (everything, poppy seed, sesame) with locally made smoked trout and gifted cream cheese and I’ve been eating them every morning in a manner of combinations: Trout and cream cheese and basil; or capers and shallots and tomatoes; or cucumbers and lemon juice and avocado and scallions. Lots of cracked black pepper either way. Have I become a breakfast person?!?!