While you shouldn’t even bring bagels up with a New Yorker if you’re not prepared for a fight, the brave, expert testers over at our smarter siblings Consumer Reports took on a bready battle of epic proportions, as they sought the best bagel you can find in stores nationwide.
The trained testers at Consumer Reports picked eight plain bagels and four with “everything”: onion, garlic, sesame seed, poppy seed, and other toppings. In addition, they tested out Thomas’ Bagel Thins, which have lower calories and make having a bagel sandwich an easier experience on your jaw.
Taste is important — bagels should a slightly crispy crust, notable “pull” when bitten into (like good Italian bread), chewy innards, and a freshly baked flavor, says CR. Overall, the plain bagels from Dunkin’ Donuts (fresh), Lender’s (frozen), and Costco’s Kirkland Signature (packaged, at room temperature) and an everything bagel from Dunkin’ Donuts were all very good.
First the bagels were tested untoasted, and then toasted for another tasting (just try saying that three times, fast). Toasting can change the texture of a bagel, as in the case of Lender’s Original Plain, which lost some chewiness. On the other hand, Udi’s Gluten Free Plain improved with heat, gaining a less tough crust and a chewier texture.
Bottom line from CR: Dunkin’ Donuts, Lender’s Original, and Costco are the best choices, but be careful which Lender’s you choose: Its refrigerated Bagel Shop version was just so-so. Thomas’ Bagel Thins are a decent option if you’re watching your weight, though they taste more like rolls than bagels.
Check out more info on the testing at the source link below.
Who makes the best bagels? [Consumer Reports]