Bagel blasphemy: Consumer Reports ratings leave some boiling

March 22, 2012 at 10:06 AM ET

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Fresh hot plain and asiago cheese bagels in a display case

Let’s be honest: New Yorkers are obsessed with — almost insane about — their bagels.

So when Consumer Reports decided to pit eight bagels against each other, comparing frozen and chain-store options, New Yorkers’ outrage was inevitable.

New York Post writers Kevin Fasick and Bill Sanderson weren’t shy about coming forward and expressing their distaste for the article.

“Everyone knows the best bagels come fresh from their local bagel shop, except the ‘experts’ at Consumer Reports magazine, who actually prefer the frozen kind. In a study that must be aimed at out-of-towners who don’t know their lox from their gefilte fish, Consumer Reports rated as ‘very good’ the rock-hard Lender’s bagels sold from supermarket freezers.”

Consumer Reports wasn’t judging New York bagels, but instead conducted a very thorough taste-test of commercial brands that included fresh, frozen and packaged bagels. CR rated Dunkin’ Doughnuts, Lender’s and Costco’s Kirkland Signature the best. The idea for the survey stemmed from CR editors in the New York suburb of Yonkers wondering if frozen bagels could give customers the same satisfaction as fresh ones.

“If you have to consult Consumer Reports to find your bagels, you are in deep doo-doo,” New Yorker Edith Penty told the Post while eating at Murray’s Bagels.

We think there really is no comparison to fresh, locally made, flavorful bagels, but unfortunately, not everyone has access to bagels from skilled bakers. If you are in a pinch and aren’t near doughy destinations like New York’s Murray’s, the Bagel Broker in Los Angeles or the Bagel Factory in Missouri, at least you have back-up options.

What do you think about big brand bagels? Where’s your favorite place to get your fix?

UPDATE: In related news, Murray Lender, who helped make Lender's Bagels a national company, has died.

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