Montreal style bagels are considered by many to be the best bagels in the world – superior to the New York style bagel that is more widely known across North America. What makes these bagels different? What’s the story behind the delicious recipe? Why do they taste and look different than regular bagels?
The recipe was brought to Montreal via Polish and eastern european Jewish immigrants around 1880. Isadore Schlafman and Chaim Seligman are widely credited with officially introducing the recipe to Montreal. Schlafman was selling bagels in a makeshift bakery in an alley off of St. Laurent, and Seligman was selling his wares by the dozen off of a horse drawn carriage. For a while, Jack Schlafman (Isadore’s son) and Seligman were in business together, but they eventually ended up having a falling out. Schlafman opened Fairmount Bagel in 1949 in Montreal’s Mile End community, and the legend states that while he was building the shop, he conveniently found an old brick wood burning oven that was perfectly suited to the business. Read more