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  • Herrine Ro: One of Montreal's culinary

  • emblems is the Montreal-style bagel.

  • It's poached in honey,

  • then baked in a wood-fired oven

  • to give it its distinctively sweet taste

  • and chewy texture.

  • In a city spotted with numerous bagels shops,

  • St-Viateur stands out

  • for its masterfully crafted artisanal bagels.

  • Customer: For me, it's not just a great bagel,

  • but it's also the institution itself

  • that's really fantastic.

  • Once you have it once, you just can't stop.

  • And I haven't stopped for 50-something years.

  • Saul Restrepo: St-Viateur Bagel was founded in 1957

  • by Myer Lewkowicz.

  • Myer was Polish, Jewish, born in Poland.

  • He came to Canada after the war,

  • and he learned the trade here in Montreal.

  • Herrine: Lewkowicz's bagels continue to be popular

  • for a variety of reasons.

  • For starters, the authentic recipe

  • has remained unchanged for over 60 years.

  • The bagels are also made 24/7,

  • ensuring customers get a fresh bagel day and night.

  • Saul: We produce 1,000 dozen a day.

  • Customer: St-Viateur Bagel is very famous.

  • I think, personally, what makes it so great

  • is no matter when I come here,

  • whether it's alone or with friends,

  • there's always just this atmosphere,

  • and you're always getting a great product,

  • and it's just kind of amazing.

  • Herrine: And perhaps one of the biggest reasons

  • why St-Viateur has upheld its iconic reputation

  • is because the team's dedication

  • to the bagel's foundation,

  • the art of hand rolling.

  • Many employees have been perfecting the craft

  • for over 25 years.

  • Saul: Let's say a guy comes in and he wants a job.

  • So, usually, it takes about six months

  • to practice, to be good at it.

  • Herrine: Mastering this technique takes practice

  • because the bagels have to be consistent

  • in size, shape, and texture.

  • Saul: You're gonna see it's gonna have that

  • chewy taste inside.

  • And that's because of the malt flour.

  • Herrine: Once made, it's the baker's turn

  • to finish off the bagels.

  • Working with the long wood panels, called sheeba,

  • it's no easy task and takes equally long to master.

  • Saul: They go in the hot water, in the boiling water

  • for five minutes.

  • Water and honey.

  • And then they go 15 to 20 minutes in the oven,

  • in the wood oven.

  • Saul: Our oven has a dome.

  • So the smoke, if you look inside,

  • you see the smoke in the dome,

  • so it gives all that smoky flavor, I believe.

  • We always, like, came out first,

  • the best bagel in Montreal,

  • us and Fairmount.

  • But I think we have more times

  • been No. 1 than them.

  • I don't know if you knew,

  • but there's always a friendly battle

  • between St-Viateur and Fairmount Bagel.

  • Herrine: And while it be remiss not to mention

  • the longstanding debate

  • between which place has the tastier bagel,

  • St-Viateur has technically

  • been the longest-running bagel shop in the city.

  • Saul: We've been making bagels for a longer time

  • because they closed for so many years.

  • Anyways, I don't wanna get in there.

  • Herrine: Regardless, the bakery

  • has been a keystone destination

  • on the Mile End for locals and tourists.

  • Even celebrities like Adam Sandler, Justin Trudeau,

  • and Leonard Cohen have frequented.

  • In fact, the flagship store has a huge hall of fame.

  • And when it comes to which bagel flavor

  • is the most popular, the answer is very clear.

  • Saul: I would recommend to have sesame,

  • and I recommend the first time, just eat it as is.

  • [crust crunching]

  • Herrine: Oh, wow!

  • This tastes great on its own.

  • I saw other people dipping this

  • in a tub of cream cheese, so I'm gonna try that.

  • Saul: Usually a family comes in, so they buy six bagels.

  • They can have a cream cheese tub.

  • Liberté, not Philadelphia.

  • Liberté from here.

  • Herrine: So, this is Canadian cream cheese

  • and a Montreal-style bagel.

  • Let's see if Canada does it better.

  • Oh, yeah, the cream cheese wins by far.

  • Saul: And then I would try the poppy

  • and the all dressed.

  • The all dressed too, it's very popular.

  • The all dressed, we call it,

  • is the sesame, poppy, onion, and garlic seed on it.

  • And then you can do it with the cream cheese,

  • and with salmon is the classic, yeah.

  • Herrine: Maybe this is a very, like,

  • exclusive thing to St-Viateur,

  • but the sesame here is so toasty and nutty

  • that even with the all-dressed combination,

  • the sesame flavor is a lot more pronounced.

  • And because the salmon isn't actual filleted

  • or cuts of salmon,

  • this one's creamier and silkier.

  • They have a lot more depth in flavor

  • and a lot more textural contrast

  • than a New York-style bagel.

  • Just because that crunchy exterior contrasts

  • so well with that, like, plushy inside

  • and that sweetness from the dough

  • and how it's not so dense.

  • So I'm leaving kind of sad because up until now,

  • I thought New York-style bagels

  • would be incomparable

  • and this would honestly come in second place.

  • But now I'm gonna go back to New York,

  • and I'm gonna miss this.

  • I can see why this place is, like, iconic.

  • It's so simple, but it's so good.

Herrine Ro: One of Montreal's culinary

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B2 bagel saul herrine montreal cream cheese sesame

How St Viateur Makes Its Iconic Montreal-Style Bagels

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/11/12
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