Review: Tim Hortons Pretzel Bagel and the margarine-based mustard spread

As a big fan of bread products I take particular interest in pretzels. There is something delicious about them, could be the dough or very well be the copious amounts of salt. Whatever the magic combination is the bottom line is that they’re incredibly tasty.

When I heard Tim Hortons came out with a pretzel bagel I had my reservations. My reasoning was simple. I recently ordered a burger at a local burger joint that came with a ‘pretzel bun.’ I caved because it was new and I dig pretzels. The burger was good, but the bun was a bad choice. It was dense and too salty, which ultimately ruined the burger and I felt unsatisfied.

Enter the Timmies new Pretzel bagel. This is not new addition to the menu as the restaurants in the United States have been selling them for a few months, but for we Canadians it’s a fresh path. Upon opening the bag — mine came doubled up in a hash brown bag and a standard donut bag — I felt relieved that it didn’t feel heavy. The outside was a beautiful golden brown with ripples of white dough rushing through it. The salt was not overpowering and didn’t cause my taste buds to dry up and go bonkers upon hitting my mouth. It was a perfect mix of dough to salt ratio for this bagel. The dough has a something sweet in it that makes you want to instantly take another bite. It’s tastes like a usual pretzel that one would get from a ball game, but in a bagel form.

Curious to know what exactly in the Pretzel Bagel. The official doc notes this: Bleached enriched wheat flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid, ascorbic acid added as a dough conditioner, enzyme added for improved baking), water, glucose-fructose, soybean and/or canola oils, salt, yeast, cornmeal, preservative (calcium propionate), leavening (sodium bicarbonate), malt barley flour, L-cysteine hydrochloride, tricalcium phosphate], salt.


From a nutritional perspective there is not much too it. The serving size is 114 grams and mostly carbs and salt, 61 grams and a massive 780 grams respectively.

Timmies also promotes a “mustard spread” to accompany the pretzel bagel. One would think this is real mustard, like a real French’s mustard, but it’s not. It’s a margarine spread. As much as pretzel and mustard goes hand-in-hand, like peanut butter and jam, I was reluctant to taste it and was unfortunately disappointed. It’s a spread with a mustard flavouring with a sprinkling if mustard seeds.

The complete ingredients of the “Mustard Spread” actually contains very little mustard. The flavoured margarine has the following: soybean oil, modified palm oil, canola oil, water, salt, whey powder (milk), soya lecithin, monoglycerides, natural flavour, colour, vitamin A palmitate, citric acid, vitamin D3), prepared mustard (vinegar, mustard seed, water, salt, white wine, sugar, dextrose, spices, flavour, lactic acid, potassium metabisulphite), mustard flour.

I say Timmies should have gone for the real deal and give real mustard, especially when they worked so hard on making the pretzel bagel taste so good.

Tim Hortons should be very proud of this bagel and it would be great toasted with butter, or with real mustard, during lunch or for a late-night snack, but I can’t see it happening for breakfast.

Tastes like a pretzel The new Pretzel Bagel is something to be proud of. It's a fine mix of sweet and salty, but stay clear of the mustard spread.

About Ian Hardy

view all posts

I'm obsessed with Tim Hortons. It runs through my veins and I've probably spent enough money downing Steeped Tea's that I could have purchased my own franchise.