If you've ever had a Jersey bagel, you know that they're just down right better. Better than any bagel anywhere else in the country. Okay... maybe just as good as New York bagels, but as a Jersey native, I have to say NJ has the best. What makes the Jersey bagel that much better, you ask? I did some research to truly prove it to you.

1. Crispy Outside, Fluffy Inside

sandwich, cream, cream cheese, cheese, bagel
Elizabeth Budd

If you've ever tried a Midwest bagel, you know they're just dense hunks of bread. Nothing like the crisp outside and fluffy interior found in NJ. It makes me truly sad when my Midwest friends tslk about how great their bagel is. If only they knew what I grew up with.

2. The Water Used to Make the Bagels

cheddar, bagel, ham, fried egg, sandwich, cheese, egg, bacon
Natasha Peregrim

I did some research and found out the crispiness and fluffiness is due to the water found in the NJ area. NJ gets its water from the Catskill Mountains which has very soft water, meaning it has low concentrations of calcium and magnesium. This softness of the water affects the gluten in the dough. Hard water strengthens gluten and makes bread hard, bust soft NJ water gives the perfect fluff.

3. Proofing (Letting the Dough Rest)

cheddar, bread, turkey, cheese, avocado, sandwich
Megan Storms

Bakers make about 100 pounds of dough at a time (so many bagels!) and hand roll the dough into a bagel shape. Great bagel bakeries let the rolled dough sit in a cooler for a couple of days. This process is called proofing and allows the yeast time to ferment and release different flavor compounds.

4. The Baking Process

bread, chicken, cheese, sandwich
Kayla Marks

Before any bagel in New Jersey hits the oven, the dough is first boiled. This is a technique that you won't find anywhere else around the country. Boiling the dough pre-oven "pre-gelatinizes" the starch in the dough which lets water into the gluten — and sets you up for the perfect bagel-like crunch.

5. The Community on a Saturday Morning 

sweet potato, cheddar, cheese, sandwich, egg, bacon, avocado
Natasha Peregrim

Every town in New Jersey has their own beloved bagel joint. My town has Bagel Chateau and every morning you can be sure there will be lines out the door waiting for the perfect bagel. What makes these places different from other states is the sheer fact that they specialize in bagels and only bagels. In my college town in Ohio, in order to get a "bagel" you go to a coffee shop, where they clearly specialize in coffee, not bagels. 

So I guess some might call me a bagel snob, ut if your bagel is fresh out of the oven and needs to be toasted, then you're not eating a real bagel. If you eat bagels from the dining hall, you disgust me. And if you think there's any shot that the soft water in Boston makes a good bagel that even compares to New Jersey, you're wrong. That's all.