The Foodscope Ch. 2: Bagels


Bagels — not to be confused with “Bae Goals.”  Although both terms are the muse of several Instagram accounts, “Bae Goals” are pictures of overly attractive, googley-eyed couples, while Bagels are glossy circles of carbs made from flour, yeast, water, and salt.

“Bae Goals” likely originated from a teenage girl with an unrealistic perception of relationship, but where was the birthplace of Bagels? Who are Bagels and WHERE DID THEY COME FROM?

According to Wikipedia (very trustworthy source, I know), bagels originated in Poland. The Jewish community created the first “beigel” all the way back in the 1600s.  Now, I can’t do complex math, but I’m a pro at subtraction — so I can tell you that bagels have a history that’s over 400 years old.

Want to hear another crazy number?  The largest bagel in the world (according to the Guinness World Records) was made in 2004, weighing in at 868 lb. bagel and 6 ft long. Holy moly — literally.

Anyways, Bagels came to America in the 1800s but only became trendy in the US in the 1970s, thanks to a series of campy tv commercials.  Nowadays, bagels dominate the breakfast market because of their versatility. You can smear the insides of bagels with almost anything — cream cheese and lox, smashed avocado and pepper, peanut butter and jelly…And some funky regional toppings?

  • Northeast: Add a thick spread of dijon mustard, chopped green olives, and thinly sliced vegan pepperoni (yes, it exists). 
  • South: Combine vegan cream cheese with toasted pecans and agave for a “Pecan Pie” bagel.
  • West Coast: Top your bagel with vegan shredded cheese, sliced avocado, red peppers, and hot sauce for a Mexican-inspired meal.

Of course, these are just trends and don’t represent every individual person living in said regions.  You don’t have to like toasted avocado bagels if you live in California. But if you don’t like the combo of avocado + crusty carbs, are your taste buds damaged?!   Anyways, take my words with a grain of salt or two (or three grains because salt is tasty).

Below are some cool links to bagel-related knowledge!

  • Wanna see bagel variations around the world? Click here
  • Best bagels in the US? Click here.
  • Best place to get bagels in Greenville? Sully’s Steamers and Greenfield’s Bagels.
  • Want to make your own batch of bagels? Here’s a recipe
  • Don’t eat carbs? Here’s a paleo bagel recipe
  • Need more bagel history? Take a look at this site.

What’s your favorite way to eat a bagel? Toasted or cold?  Buttered or jammed? Sweet or savory? Let’s take a poll. I vote for toasted + peanut butter + strawberry jam.

Gigi Nally

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