(This is a serious question and not intended to start acrimony...)
Visited a friend in Montreal recently and he took me for fresh bagels. I grew up in NYC area and those are the bagels (and bialy's) I'm used to and love.
A recent article sort of gave me an explanation of why I like NYC bagels so much: http://www.slate.com/id/2297583/ In short, part of it has to do with complexity of tastes you get through fermenting the dough in (old) wood containers.
No offense, but Montreal bagels seem the opposite. Leaving aside the texture (which may just be a matter of habit or perverse pride in getting muscle spasms from chewing a NYC bagel), there just seemed to be one note to the taste of the bagel--i.e., no real complexity.
I realize all the really special treats in my life seems to have the "complexity of flavors" idea in common (to pick a Montreal example--Swartz's smoked meat). Am i missing something with Montreal bagels or is it just a matter of different criteria?
(And clearly there are people in NYC who appreciate them, as there's a "Mile End" bakery in Brooklyn that imports them, and a new bakery nearby that started to make them fresh.)