They are a solid favorite of breakfast in the Western World, especially the UK, America, and Canada. Round and dense and best served with a rich luxuriant topping of cream cheese, the bagel found its origins among the Jewish population of the 1600’s.
From there it has become incredibly popular and spread throughout the world, and even into outer space! Have a Bagel Day encourages you to enjoy this delicious doughy delight in your favorite configuration, and remember the long history of this bread and the people that made it famous.
History of Have A Bagel Day
As mentioned earlier, the bagel found its origins in the Jewish population of Europe sometime in the 1600’s, but the specifics of its origin remain subject to hot dispute. Some origin stories have it coming out of Krakow, Poland where it was said to be given to women who were going through childbirth. This may be the first historical record of this dense ring of delight, but it is likely that it existed for some time before that.
Other tales point to a baker from Vienna developing it to celebrate the defeat of the Turks by King Jan III Sobieski of Poland in 1683, its shape supposedly meant to be reminiscent of a stirrup.
The stirrup, known as buegel, was selected due to the folklore saying that the freed people of Austria reached out to grasp the stirrup of King Sobieski as he rode by. What is known is that the bajgiel (an earlier spelling of bagel) would become a central part of the Polish and Slavic diets by the 17th century, and by the 19th it would be found being sold in London on long wooden dowels.
In the 19th century, it found its way to the Big Apple by way of the Polish Jewish immigrants and was quickly brought under the control of the Bagel Bakers Local 338, a bakers union that held all of the local bagel bakeries under its sway. It eventually began spreading throughout the US in the years following 1975 thanks to the automation of production that became possible.
How to celebrate Have A Bagel Day
Quite simply start your day with a bagel smeared with cream cheese or your favorite topping! For lunch, you can expand that offering with ham and cheese on a bagel warmed in the microwave or oven.
We aren’t typically a huge fan of the microwave, but the rich doughy consistency it gives the bagel while melting the cheese and heating the ham makes it perfect for a filling, comforting, afternoon meal.