Monday, March 15

The Montreal Bagel Challenge: St-Viateur vs. Fairmont

(above image credit : St-Viateur painting by Carole Spandau, Fairmont painting from their website)

If you're from Montreal, you probably know about the old St-Viateur vs. Fairmont Bagel debate. Most Montrealers are very opinionated about this topic. Ask them the question and you will get a very passionate, instantaneous response, such as, "Obviously _______ is better! There's no question about it!"
So this got my little scientific mind working, and I thought I should put this to the test in the Ladygrey kitchen. Is one bagel really that much better than the other? I was determined to find out.
So yesterday morning I visited both bagel shops and bought a dozen sesame bagels from each. Both establishments were inviting and friendly. Both were equally busy at 7am. Both cashiers agreed without hesitation to my taking a picture in there (which, I think, is a sign of good-naturedness). All in all, it was a pleasant experience. 

And now for the taste test challenge:
I blind-folded some of my gracious friend volunteers and placed two lightly-toasted bagel halves in front of them, one from St-Viateur and one from Fairmont. (Don't people look funny eating with blind-folds on!)
Now I was expecting 50-50 results, but I couldn't have been more wrong!
5 out of 6 taste testers picked St-Viateur Bagels over Fairmont. I was so shocked! 
Now let me say this: everyone had a lot of difficulty making the choice. Everyone felt that both bagels tasted delicious and were very similar, but when forced to make a choice St-Viateur clearly won.

And me? Apparently I was the odd one out who picked Fairmont. I have no idea why, or what this says about me. All I know is that I have a freezer full of left-over bagels and I will eat them all, whole-heartedly, regardless of which bagel shop they came from.


Mark said...

I volunteer my services anytime you have any more taste test challenges. It was great. And obviously cool kids like St- Viateurs while only nerds like Fairmont.

Crazy Sweet Life said...

We look so silly! That was so fun - let's do more taste testing!

Lady Grey said...

I guess I shouldn't have doubted you, Mark, you knew you would choose St-Viateur.
I think we should definitely do more of these taste tests... if you have any ideas, let me know ; )

carole spandau said...

Thanks for featuring one of my paintings of St. Viateur Bagel. Please visit my online gallery, CAROLE SPANDAU at FINEARTAMERICA.You can purchase prints and original oil paintings. I specialize in all the well known Montreal landmarks like Wilenskys, Schwartzs,Beautys, etc, and Hockey scenes.If you are in Montreal, please call my studio for an appointment at 514-486-0731,thanks, Carole.

nadia said...

omgoodness! i need to go home, love fairmount don;t mind the line at 3am!

Caroline D said...

Hey ladygrey. Love checking up on what's the latest of your simple pleasures and curiousities. You are so lucky to have St. Viateur or Fairmont bagels at hand! I live in N.Ireland and bagels are bread with holes in it...nice bread, but not bagels! Hope to be there this summer and bite into a fresh bagel! Love your photos of Ireland and Wales ...and those spring images. Lovely! Caroline