In 2009, we moved to Oakland from Philadelphia on a whim, in search of a new city to call home. We fell in love immediately with the friendly people, beautiful landscape and amazing food. There was just one thing we found ourselves longing for (aside from warm summer nights): amazing bagels! Armed with our culinary experience, love of food and desire to work together, we decided to open our own bagel shop and bring old-school, traditional bagels to the
Our bagels are Montreal-style, which means they are hand-rolled, boiled in honey water and baked in a wood-fired oven, resulting in a bagel that is soft in texture with a perfectly crunchy crust, a slight sweetness and a hint of smoke. Prepared with organic ingredients and baked in small batches throughout the day, there will always be a fresh, warm bagel waiting for you. xoAmyandBlake
Who baked the first Montreal bagel is still a matter of debate. Some claim it was Myer Lewkowicz, founder of St. Viateur Bagel, while others say it was Isadore Shlafman, founder of Fairmount Bagels. Joe King, a Montreal Jewry historian, believes bagels were introduced by Chaim Seligman, who once was a partner of both Lewkowicz and Shlafman. Jon Seligman, Chaim’s great grandson, gives an excellent description of Montreal bagels and how they differ from those made in New York on his website www.seligman.org.
According to Seligman, “Montreal Bagels…are a different breed, chewy and tinged with a tantalizing sweetness. The real thing is still baked in wood ovens, which give the bagels an irregularly charred outer surface. With no chemical additives or dough conditioners, these bagels stand out in gastronomic genius, velvety texture, and shiny good looks.”
He continues: “In contrast to the machine-made New York-style bagel, Montreal bagels are hand prepared from a strip of dough that has been formed into a circle and rolled on the seam, producing a bagel that is smaller, sweeter, denser, and with a larger hole. The bagel…is boiled in honey-sweetened water and then dipped in poppy-seed (mohn) or sesame before being baked in a wood-fired oven. The irregular flames of the wood give it a dappled light-and-dark surface colour with a gloss imparted by their swim in a bath of honey water.”