Survey: Dunkin', Lender's bagels among the best

by Eric Schroeder
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YONKERS, N.Y. — Dunkin’ Donuts, Lender’s Original and Kirkland Signature from Costco were recognized in the May issue of Consumer Reports as the best bagels in a recent taste test involving eight plain and four “everything” bagels.

In determining which bagels tasted the best, Consumer Reports said bagels should have “a slightly crispy crust, notable ‘pull’ when bitten into (like good Italian bread), chewy innards, and a freshly baked flavor.” In its taste test, fresh plain bagels from Dunkin’ Donuts, frozen Lender’s Original plain bagels, Costco’s Kirkland Signature packaged bagels and a fresh “everything” bagel from Dunkin’ Donuts all received a “very good” rating.

“After rating the bagels untoasted, we toasted them and tasted again,” Consumer Reports said. “Toasting sometimes changed the texture. Lender’s Original Plain, for example, lost some desirable chewiness, but Udi’s Gluten Free Plain improved — its crust became less tough, and its crumbly texture became chewier. For others, toasting sometimes reduced off-flavors such as bitterness.”

In terms of nutrition, Consumer Reports said the scores varied depending on size and toppings. For example, the full-sized bagels had 260 to 350 calories, usually 1 to 4.5 grams of fat, 330 to 660 mg of sodium and 2 to 5 grams of fiber. Meanwhile, Thomas’ Bagel Thins have 110 calories per bagel, 1 gram of fat, 210 mg of sodium and 4 grams of fiber.

In comments about Udi’s Gluten Free, Consumer Reports said the frozen plain bagels were “far from traditional” with a “dry, tough crust.” Additionally, the bagels were described as being “cakey,” with a “crumbly texture, with rice flavor and toasted notes.”

Sara Lee Deluxe and Pepperidge Farm packaged bagels also were tested. Among its comments, Consumer Reports said the Sara Lee bagels tasted store bought, had a soft crust, hints of yeast, with slight bitterness and a chemical flavor, while the Pepperidge Farm bagels tasted store bought, had a soft crust and gummy texture, and exhibited hints of sour, yeast and grain flavors, with bitter and chemical notes.

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