Fairmount Bagel

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Fairmount Bagel Storefront In Montreal http://fairmountbagel.com

Fairmount Bagel is a Montreal-style bagel bakery in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in the Mile End neighbourhood of the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough. The first location was opened in 1919 opened on Saint-Laurent Boulevard by Isadore Shlafman. The current location, on 74 Fairmount Avenue West was opened in 1949. Fairmount Bagel still remains a family-run business.

History[edit]

Fairmount Bagel was the first bagel bakery of its kind in Montreal. Isadore Shlafman, known as Grandfather Isadore, moved from Russia to Canada, and opened the bakery in 1919 – originally called the Montreal Bagel Bakery, located on Saint-Laurent Boulevard. In 1949, Grandfather Isadore moved from the Saint-Laurent location to a cottage on Fairmount Avenue. The location of the bakery was moved to the first floor of their home, and the family lives upstairs. The Shlafman family changed the name, in accompaniment to the new location, to “The Original Fairmount Bagel Bakery”. Since the opening, Fairmount Bagel has remained a family run business.[1] Grandfather Isadore passed the business down to his son Jack Shlafman, who then passed it to his son, Irwin Shlafman.[2] The same methods are used to make the bagels – rolled by hand and baked in an old-fashioned wood-burning oven.

According to their website, Fairmount Bagel has received several honours and awards, such as Readers Digest and Best of Montreal.[3]

Charity work[edit]

Fairmount Bagels has an ongoing mission to giving back to the community around the city. They have donated to numerous groups and associations every year, contributing to providing fresh food for their events. Some other examples include donations to organizations and schools to improve the well-being and future of children – such as FRED; Children Now; Bancroft school and École Nouvelles Querbes

Culture[edit]

Origins of the Montreal bagel[edit]

“Fairmount Bagel In Winter” by Carole Spandau

Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, specifically Poland, introduced the Montreal bagel to North America. Originally, the “beugel” was a traditional gift, first, to the King of Poland, John III Sobieski, then more commonly to new mothers.[4] From here, the bagel ended up being sold in the city streets of Russia and was called "bublik". In the first half of the 20th century, after being brought to North America, these bagels were almost exclusively made and sold within the Montreal Jewish communities. In the 1970s, the Montreal bagel gained popularity on the other side of the Canadian border and were mass-produced to supply this demand.[5] Some people compare the characteristics of the Montreal bagel, compared to other bagels, as being reflective of the hostility toward the immigrating Jewish population in the 20th century. Much like those Jews had to develop thick skin and form tight-knit communities, the Montreal bagel more compact and chewier than other bagels.

According to mtl.org, the proper way to eat Fairmount Bagels is fresh out of the bag, with “schmear”, such as cream cheese.[6]

Iconic storefront[edit]

Fairmount Bagel has been located on Fairmount street since 1949. For 70 years this storefront has been a monument to the Montreal Mile End community. The painting “Fairmount Bagel In Winter” by Carole Spandau was chosen to represent the Plateau Mont-Royal in the Fall 2013 exhibit at the Pointe-à-Callière Museum in Montreal.[7] Many artists have used the iconic storefront as a source of inspiration. These artworks can be found on the Fairmount Bagel website.[8]

Inside the Bakery's Production Process

Products[edit]

Montreal-style bagels are smaller, less chewy, and sweeter than the New-York style bagel. The former is also made with honey and malt syrup. The process of making this baked good consists of hand-rolling and then submerging the bagel dough in boiling water for roughly 3 minutes, then baking it in a wood-fired oven for 20 minutes.[9]

At Fairmount, sesame bagels make up 70 percent of their sales[10]. Nonetheless, the company has a wide range of fresh products to choose from. The store sells several “schmears”[11], such as tubs of cream cheese, for customers to apply to their bagels. Additionally, the Fairmount Bagel website there is a section dedicated to different topping ideas for customers to pull inspiration from when preparing their bagels at home.

Menu Item Main Ingridients Image
Sesame seed unbleached flour
Fairmount products 22.png
Poppy seed unbleached flour
Fairmount products 21.png
Plain unbleached flour
Fairmount products 20.png
Caraway seed unbleached flour
Fairmount products 19.png
Blueberry unbleached flour
Fairmount products 15.png
Garlic unbleached flour
Fairmount products 18.png
Onion unbleached flour, garnished with onion and poppy seeds
Fairmount products 17.png
All-dressed unbleached flour, garnished with onion, garlic, caraway seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and coarse salt
Fairmount products 16.png
Chocolate unbleached flour, chocolate chips, and orange zest
Fairmount products 14.png
Pumpernickel unbleached flour and rye sour
Fairmount products 13.png
Cinnamon and raisin unbleached flour, raisins, and cinnamon
Fairmount products 12.png
Sweet bagel unbleached flour, fresh eggs
Fairmount products 11.png
Muselix 100% organic whole wheat flour, all natural honey, triticale flakes, oat flakes, millet, raisins, and garnished with sesame seeds
Fairmount products 10.png
Power 100% organic whole wheat flour, fresh eggs, all natural honey, raisins, walnut, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds
Fairmount products 09.png
Whole wheat (Vegan) 100% organic whole wheat flour, no eggs, all natural honey, and garnished with sesame seeds
Fairmount products 08.png
Multi grain (Vegan) 100% organic whole wheat flour, malt flour, no eggs, nutritious grains, all natural honey, garnished with sesame seeds
Fairmount products 07.png
Flax seed malt flour, fresh eggs, all natural honey, and 12 gas of freshly ground flax seeds
Fairmount products 06.png
Bozzo Three bagels twisted into one giant bagel, garnished with sesame seeds on one side and poppy seeds on the other
Fairmount products 05.png
New York Pretzel sprinkled with coarse salt
Fairmount products 04.png
Bagel chips All flavours
Fairmount products 03.png
Mini bagels unbleached flour and fresh eggs
Fairmount products 02.png
Sesame Matzoh bread 100% organic whole wheat flour, garnished with sesame seeds and salt
Fairmount products 01.png
Poppy seed Matzoh bread unbleached flour, garnished with poppy seeds
Fairmount products 01.png
Garlic Matzoh bread unbleached flour, garnished with onions and salt
Fairmount products 01.png
Onion Matzoh bread unbleached flour, garnished with onion, poppy seeds, and salt
Fairmount products 01.png

Media and news[edit]

Greg Chamitoff and colleagues with Fairmount Bagels In Outer Space[12]

Fairmount Bagel mission to space[edit]

In May 2008, the first bagel made it to outer space from the International Space Station on mission STS-124. 45-year old Astronaut Greg Chamitoff, the nephew of the owner of the store, managed to take products from Fairmount Bakery with him in his shuttle into space.[13]

Montreal bagels and the environment[edit]

As environmental concerns are increasing, Montreal-style bagels are becoming increasingly rare. Wood-burning ovens, which contribute to the character of the Montreal bagel, might be forced out of existence. Although gas ovens could be used, it will be a monumental change in the tradition of the art form of the Montreal bagel. While they are safe for now, time will only tell how much the city values the century-old tradition.[14][15][16][17]

Montreal bagels rivalry[edit]

Montreal bagels have become iconic, and the rivalry between the two frontrunners, Fairmount and St. Viateur bagels, is well known.[18]

The Fairmount bagel is slightly sweeter than St-Viateurs. Montreal food blogger Katerine Rollet says that when you ask people which they prefer, it's about a 60-40 split, Fairmount to St-Viateur. Given the two bageleries close proximity, convenience is not a deciding factor when picking where to buy their products—it's about loyalties.[19]  

Adam Gopnik wrote in the New Yorker that a true bagel is a wood-fired Montreal one from either store.[20]

There have been tours created to showcase the different vendors and to fuel the debate about which is superior.[21]

"Bagels in the Blood", documentary about Fairmount Bagel[edit]

Filmakers Jonathan Keijser, from Halifax, and Daniel Beresh, from Edmonton, spent time in Montreal, created a documentary about Fairmount Bagel after spending time in Montreal while pursuing musical-theatre projects.[22] “Bagels in the Blood” is dedicated to sharing their interests, as well as helping people learn more about Fairmount Bagel culture. The documentary can be found on Vimeo.[23]

Rough Guide Recommendations[edit]

This travel information guidebook recommends Fairmount Bagel Bakery as one of the two best-known historic delis, when visiting Montreal's Jewish neighbourhood.[24]

Vendors[edit]

In addition to their primary storefront, located at 74 Fairmount Ouest Avenue, Montreal, QC, customers can also purchase Fairmount bagels from following locations[25]:

  • InterMarche Universel
  • Supermarche Metro Laurier
  • Fou D’ici
  • Olly Frescos
  • Dame Nature
  • Exo fruit 5192
  • Adonis Sauvé
  • Supermarche Metro
  • Henri Tasse
  • Boulangerie Westminster
  • Intermarché Palumbo
  • Fruits et Légumes Tardif
  • Euromarché
  • Yagel Dollard
  • IGA Marche du Chemin
  • IGA Rue Saint-Charles
  • Costco Mill
  • Costco L’Acadie
  • Costco Terrebonne
  • Costco Boisbriand
  • Costco Boucherville
  • Costco Candiac
  • Costco Pointe-Claire
  • Costco St-Hubert
  • Costco Brossard
  • Costco Laval
  • Costco Anjou

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Us". Fairmount Bagel. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  2. ^ Brownstein, Bill; February 17, Montreal Gazette Updated:; 2016 (February 10, 2016). "Bagels in the Blood is now complete and available for bagel-fanciers everywhere to catch online – for free. | Montreal Gazette". Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  3. ^ "About Us". Fairmount Bagel. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  4. ^ "Montreal Bagels | The Canadian Encyclopedia". www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  5. ^ "The famous Montréal bagel and everything you need to know". Tourisme Montréal. November 27, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  6. ^ "The famous Montréal bagel and everything you need to know". Tourisme Montréal. November 27, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  7. ^ "News Room". Fairmount Bagel. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  8. ^ "About Us". Fairmount Bagel. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  9. ^ Eats, Serious. "Montreal Bagels: St-Viateur vs. Fairmount". www.seriouseats.com. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
  10. ^ Eats, Serious. "Montreal Bagels: St-Viateur vs. Fairmount". www.seriouseats.com. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
  11. ^ "The famous Montréal bagel and everything you need to know". Tourisme Montréal. November 27, 2017. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
  12. ^ "Bagels in Space". Fairmount Bagel. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  13. ^ "Montreal bagels taken into space | CTV News". www.ctvnews.ca. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  14. ^ Lalonde, Michelle; October 24, Montreal Gazette Updated:; 2018 (October 17, 2018). "Montreal signals bagel makers that clock is ticking on wood burning | Montreal Gazette". Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  15. ^ Forster, Tim (December 5, 2018). "The Plateau Will Protect Montreal's Famed Bagel Stores Under Wood-Fired Oven Law". Eater Montreal. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  16. ^ "The death of the Montreal bagel?". Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  17. ^ "Montreal's famous bagel shops under fire for wood-burning ovens | CTV News". www.ctvnews.ca. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  18. ^ CNN, Mayssam Samaha (June 19, 2017). "Where to get the best bagels in Montreal". CNN Travel. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  19. ^ Eats, Serious. "Montreal Bagels: St-Viateur vs. Fairmount". www.seriouseats.com. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  20. ^ Forster, Tim (September 14, 2018). "Ex-New York Times Critic Says Montreal Bagels Are 'Like Chewing Broken Glass'". Eater Montreal. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  21. ^ Lowrie, Morgan (October 12, 2018). "Exploring Montreal's Jewish food history, including and beyond the bagel". The Hamilton Spectator. ISSN 1189-9417. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  22. ^ Brownstein, Bill; February 17, Montreal Gazette Updated:; 2016 (February 10, 2016). "Bagels in the Blood is now complete and available for bagel-fanciers everywhere to catch online – for free. | Montreal Gazette". Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  23. ^ "Bagels In The Blood". Vimeo. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  24. ^ "A foodie's guide to Montreal and Quebec". Rough Guides. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  25. ^ "Store Locator". Fairmount Bagel. Retrieved March 30, 2019.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°31′22″N 73°35′43″W / 45.5229°N 73.5952°W / 45.5229; -73.5952