Amid the parade of iconic brands that adorn Beverly Hills is an unexpected piece of culinary culture from home. There, one block from Rodeo Drive, is a small establishment called St. Urbain Street Bagels that offers up Montreal’s famous foodstuff in a bakery full of historical posters of the city.
The sight of a distinctive Canadian culinary item in the world’s most famous shopping district might be cause for pride. Except for one fact: The doughy confections for sale in Beverly Hills have as much resemblance to Montreal bagels as Velveeta does to cheddar. Rather than burnishing the city’s gastronomic image, the pseudo bagel cheapens it.
This diminution of a favourite food raises the question of whether Canada should be doing more to protect its distinctive culinary products.