Photo: Hugo Dechesne/Flickr
Last summer, in an odd twist, a store in Brooklyn started selling Montreal-style bagels.Now, the debate (insofar as one can call a question with this obvious an answer a debate) between New York and Montreal bagels has been going on for a long time and each side has its own supporters.
However, B&B’s arrival marked the first time Montreal bagels were made in-house in the city.
Reactions were mixed.
Anyways, Montreal aside, most people consider New York, and more specifically, Brooklyn, bagels to be the best in the world. This notion is so widespread that one Florida businessman started a restaurant franchise called “The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Company.”
The company claimed to have a 14-step filtration system that could turn any water into Brooklyn water. Whether or not this is true (or possible), the idea was a hit. Since 2009, the chain has expanded to 14 locations in three states and hired CNN’s (TWX) Larry King as a spokesman.
In general, many bagel makers and bagel eaters believe water quality to be one of the more important elements in bagel quality.
The problem is, the process might not work.
On Saturday, the Orlando Sentinel reported that Boca Raton businessman Andrew Greenbaum is suing the company for tricking him into believing it could make Brooklyn water. Greenbaum owns the franchise rights for three restaurants, and is suing for over $2 million in damages.
Greenbaum plans to test the chemical composition of the water and compare it to the water that comes out of a Brooklyn tap.
On its end, the company claims that the allegations are false and that the system works.
It remains to be seen how the case will shake out in court. Of course, whether or not the company can duplicate Brooklyn’s water may not be as relevant to the taste of the bagels as consumers think.
According to Slate, New York’s bagel supremacy has much more to do with the way bagels are produced than with water quality. For example, New York bakers tend to poach bagels before cooking them, a step that some bagel makers outside the city skip. New York bagel makers also ferment their dough in wooden containers, producing a greater range of flavours.
So, to be clear, even if Brooklyn Water wins its case, that doesn’t mean it’s making a Brooklyn Bagel.
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