If you live in or near Wilton, CT you suddenly discover that there are five places that sell bagels almost within walking distance of each other. Four of the five are a few hundred fee apart, and the fifth one, bagels at Mrs Green’s Natural Market is a couple of miles south. All of them are open early in the morning for breakfast bageling.
We took a quick spin to all five this morning, and bought a Sesame Bagel and an Everything Bagel at each one. Then we cut them open, photographed them, toasted them and tasted them. They are all different in character and may appeal differently to you than they did to us.
A good bagel should have a snap when you bite into it and a bit of a malt flavor: they are usually boiled in malt water before baking. The interior should not be mushy but should be substantial without being tough.
Connecticut Coffee Company: they make their bagels in Stamford each morning and sell them for $1.00 each.
Stop and Shop: they make their own bagels and sell them for only (gasp) $0.69 each.
Mrs Green’s: they make their own bagels and sell them for $0.99.
And here are out tasting results:
5. Stop and Shop: For 69 cents what do you get? The bagels are bready and white without much malt flavor, but overall with more flavor than we expected. They are somewhat doughy, however. The “everything” and sesame toppings had little flavor.
4. TerraNova: These are white and doughy with a sort of dampness when raw indicative of underbaking. The bread had no real taste, the only tastes we picked up were from the sesame seeds. The “everything” flavor was pretty much missing.
3. Mrs. Green’s: These were pretty soft and became gummy when chewed. There was a small amount of “everything” and sesame flavor from the toppings.
2. Breuggers: These definitely had the most generous amounts of toppings, a fair “everything” flavor and the dough had a real bagel flavor. While we ranked these as number 2, some may rank it first.
1. Connecticut Coffee: These are our standard for an excellent bagel. They have a good snap, a but of a malt undercurrent, have an excellent texture, and have great flavored toppings.