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Basket of bagels
Fresh out of the oven a bagel, beigel, beygl, beugal, obwarzanek or girde nan--no matter how you spell it--what can be more delicious? How about adding a "schmeer" of cream cheese?
What is a bagel? A bagel is a rounded bread product that is boiled before it is baked. This extra step gives a bagel its unique texture and shiney crust.
The origin of the bagel is filled with stories handed down through many generations. As early as 1610 in Poland, bagels (beygls) were given as gifts to new mothers for use as teething rings. Today mothers like to use frozen bagels for this same reason.
In another story, a Viennese Jewish baker in 1683 used his baking skill to thank the king of Poland for protecting his countrymen from Turkish invaders. The bagel he created was made in the shape of a riding stirrup ("bugel" in German) in recognition of the king's favorite pasttime.
Later, when Eastern European Jewish immigrants came to America the American bagel industry was established. Between 1910 and 1915, in New York City, an exclusive group of 300 craftsmen for bagel making formed the Bagel Bakers Local #338 union.
37 grams carbohydrate
In the 1950's, the first prepackaged bagels became available in grocery stores. It was not until the 1960's that frozen bagels were introduced.
Bagels are great for dieters as they contain no cholesterol and little fat. Although chewy, bagels offer a low-fat snack. That is, until a bagel lover adds a cream cheese topping.
Today's bagels come in many varieties: salt, onion, garlic, cinnamon-raisin, to name a few. Other variations include bagel chips, bagel sandwiches, along with American fast-food breakfast treats. Quite an evolution from its beginning as a baby's teething ring and gift for a king.
Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff