Are store-bought bagels as good as fresh?

The uneaten bagels sit in the WTOP newsroom, waiting for someone hungry enough to eat them. (WTOP/Colleen Kelleher)
WTOP's bagel taste test

wtopstaff | November 14, 2014 5:13 am

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WASHINGTON – Mention bagels in a newsroom and all ears perk up. Mention that Consumer Reports finds some store-bought varieties are almost as good as New York bagels, and the skepticism comes out.

Consumer Reports recommends the plain varieties from Dunkin’ Donuts, Lender’s Original (frozen), Kirkland Signature (Costco), as well as the Dunkin’ Donuts’ “everything” bagels.

“A bagel should have a slightly crispy crust, notable ‘pull’ when bitten into, like a good Italian bread, chewy innards, and a freshly baked flavor,” says Consumer Reports Associate Editor Nicole Sarrubbo, in a news release.

She says toasting “can change the texture of the bagel, sometimes improving it, sometimes not.”

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein, who favors himself a bagel aficionado (some might say bagel snob), undertook the task of toasting up some Lenders bagels for WTOP’s Mike Moss and Bruce Alan.

“These are definitely store-bought bagels,” Alan said the minute he saw the plate of toasted bagels.

“I’ve had better cardboard,” Moss said as he bit into an onion bagel by Lenders.

Alan sums up the feelings of everybody involved in the taste test: “Not as good as fresh from a bagel store, that’s for sure.”

The plate of toasted bagels sits in the newsroom waiting for someone desperate enough to eat them.

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