Even without the food styling, these bagels look fantastic — Photo courtesy of Black Seed Bagels
New Yorkers declare that they have the best bagels in America. Montrealers declare that they have the best bagels in Canada (In fact, one blogger passionately declared, "To claim New York’s bagel is better is literal nonsense.")
Sounds like a bagel-off to us.
While New York bagels are characterized by their doughy softness and substantial size, Montreal bagels are comparatively more petite, but denser and sweeter. So Canadian transplant Noah Bernamoff and his American friend Matt Kliegman set out to find the middle ground.
Everything you need for a tummy filling — Photo courtesy of Black Seed Bagels
Although finding middle ground might suggest that some people from both camps will end up disappointed, Black Seed Bagels is dedicated to building a bagel that can stand on its own.
Rather than having to choose sides, people can come together and unite over these oven-fired beauties. Some call it a bakery. We call it a treaty.
With two locations in Nolita and Battery Park City, the bagels keep rolling in. (Sorry. We had to.) A new East Village location will be opening in late 2015 (with a soft opening in October) in the 100-year-old De Robertis Pasticceria building.
The long-term plan is to sell the bagels wholesale to ensure that people never experience the sorrow of a bagel-less day. But they do sell out of these doughy rounds daily.
The carbs of all our dreams — Photo courtesy of Black Seed Bagels
What might you expect from this hybrid bagel? Of course it has to be a little sweet (the Montreal side) but it also offers a unique saltiness (New York). It's both dense and light and firm.
It doesn't mess around with the seeds. Expect to need dental floss for days. Happily, we do hear flossing is good for you.
Bagels are rolled by hand and boiled in honey water, which is what grants them that surprising sweetness. They're then carefully baked in a wood-fired oven until they achieve a golden brown hue.
To keep the bagels at the optimal temperature and doneness, creators then toss them into a marble chute to cool using hand-carved walnut peels. (We never would have thought of that, either.)
A Black Seed bagel with lox — Photo courtesy of Black Seed Bagels
Of course, a bagel is nothing without its schmear.
There are many delicious sandwich options that fall into the traditional category (