Bagels have been around for quite awhile and since then there have been a wide variety of different flavors, toppings, and other additions that you can add to these things and safe to say bagels have come a long way over the past hundred or so years since they were first introduced. In fact, bagels are actually much older than this and go back as far as the seventeenth century and were first introduced in Poland for women who were expecting.  There have been a lot of uses for bagels over the years and I wanted to go over some of the differences bagels have gone through over the years and start off by offering some of my own history for bagels and how they’ll always hold a spot near and dear to my heart…

…I think the great thing about bagels is that they’re cheap and for a small fee you can get cheap fresh bagels for a fraction of other price of anything and with a little cream cheese or some smoked salmon you can really make some tasty treats with these things.

Follow along and I’ll go right into the long-detailed history of bagel and offer a little modern insight as to how they’re being used today…

Bagels: A Brief History

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="303"]English: A plain bagel, bought from an Associa... A plain bagel, bought from an Associated grocery store in Brooklyn in their daily bread section. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about bagels and their history over the years:

Contrary to some beliefs, the bagel was not created in the shape of a stirrup to commemorate the victory of Poland’s King Jan III Sobieski over the Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Vienna in 1683. It was actually invented much earlier in Kraków, Poland, as a competitor to the obwarzanek, a lean bread of wheat flour designed for Lent.

Linguist Leo Rosten wrote in “The Joys of Yiddish” about the first known mention of the word bajgiel in the “Community Regulations” of the city of Kraków in 1610, which stated that the item was given as a gift to women in childbirth.

In the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, the bajgiel became a staple of the Polish national diet, and a staple of the Slavic diet generally. Its name derives from the Yiddish word ‘beygal’ from the German dialect word ‘beugel,’ meaning ‘ring’ or ‘bracelet.’

Additionally, variants of the word beugal are used in Yiddish and Austrian German to refer to a somewhat similar form of sweet filled pastry (Mohnbeugel (with poppy seeds) and Nussbeugel (with ground nuts)), or in southern German dialects (where beuge refers to a pile, e.g., holzbeuge, or woodpile). According to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, ‘bagel’ derives from the transliteration of the Yiddish ‘beygl’, which came from the Middle High German ‘böugel’ or ring, which itself came from ‘bouc’(ring) in Old High German, similar to the Old English ‘bēag’ ‘(ring), and ‘būgan’ (to bend or bow). Similarly another etymology in the Webster’s New World College Dictionary says that the Middle High German form was derived from the Austrian German ‘beugel’, a kind of croissant, and was similar to the German ‘bügel’, a stirrup or ring.

In the Brick Lane district and surrounding area of London, England, bagels, or as locally spelled “beigels” have been sold since the middle of the 19th century. They were often displayed in the windows of bakeries on vertical wooden dowels, up to a metre in length, on racks.

Bagels were brought to the United States by immigrant Polish-Jews, with a thriving business developing in New York City that was controlled for decades by Bagel Bakers Local 338, which had contracts with nearly all bagel bakeries in and around the city for its workers, who prepared all their bagels by hand. The bagel came into more general use throughout North America in the last quarter of the 20th century, which was due at least partly to the efforts of bagel baker Harry Lender, his son, Murray Lender, and Florence Sender, who pioneered automated production and distribution of frozen bagels in the 1960s. Murray also invented pre-slicing the bagel.

What’s Changed

I can remember for years my parents use to feed me and my brothers bagels every sunday morning and although we only added cream cheese to ours they were still amazing and I’d have to say that ever since I’ve been a die-hard bagel fan.

There are a lot of different places you can get bagels and in fact if you were so inclined you could even purchase your own materials and boil them yourselves in your home. For a little cash though you can get them freshly made at a bagel bakery and let me tell you there are really a lot of benefits to doing it this way not to mention the fact that they just taste better as well…

…I think what got me so much with bagels is just the simplicity of it all and how you can really bring a small family together on a sunday morning with just bagels and some cream cheese – crazy how things have changed huh?

All in all if you’ve never tried bagels before then you’re really going to be missing out on a lot and I daresay this is is probably one of the best breakfast items you can get and for the price you really can’t beat the value and they can easily feed the whole family for under five bucks.


[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="670"]Salami and eggs on Bagel Salami and eggs on Bagel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]

In conclusion I’d like to finish by saying that bagels will always be a classic choice.

There’s really nothing that you can say against these guys and although they’ve got a little bit of calories in them they’re actually really not that bad for you and is something that can actually bring a family together like it did for me and really make a difference…

Personally, I’ll never forget my bagel days and I really cherish the moments I got to spend out in my dining room with my brothers on those early Sunday mornings and I think you can definitely have a experience just like this.

Feel free to share any bagel experiences you’ve had and how they play a role in your life. I was actually surprised at how many people truly hold on to bagels and attach a lot of fond emotional memories to them – WHAT ARE YOURS?

Be sure to check back next week for our ongoing Bagel King series and we’ll get right into all the specifics of whatever it you want to know – leave us comments!