Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Water Doughnuts: Some Bagel History (Part 2)

And a look into the fascinating history of the bagel continue...

Bagels were popular not just in New York but also in places such as in Miami during the 1940s. The Jewish Post, February 14, 1947, in an article on Jewish life in Miami, wrote, "Why not enjoy your “lox,” and you might even try it with "bagel.” Continuing in that vein, the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, March 12, 1948, published an article, Miami Beach--The Tel Aviv of America, noting that this town has about 32,000 residents, 54% being Jewish. During the winter, the town will be visited by about 650,000 tourists, 85% being Jewish. It is noted that you can find a bagel with cream cheese for 30 cents, or 45 cents with the addition of lox.

The Tuscon Daily Citizen, June 11, 1948, showing bagels are also popular in Arizona, gave some prices for the bagels in a deli ad. A lox and bagel was 30 cents, and 45 cents if you also added cream cheese. Interesting that the prices were the same despite the distance between Florida and Arizona.

Do you like Pizza Bagels? I know I enjoyed them when I was growing up. The first reference I found to pizza bagels was about seventy years ago, in The Daily Journal, May 1, 1948 (NJ). The newspaper had a bakery ad which offered Pizza Bagels. The Miami News, February 5, 1952, also mentioned pizza Bagels, noting that it "Embodies the best qualities of pizza sans soggy dough." The Daily News, June 8, 1952 (NY) had an ad too for pizza bagels, but included a price. The cafeteria at the S. Klein store sold pizza bagels for 25 cents, and in their October 12, 1952 issue, noted a Monday special where the pizza bagels were only 10 cents.

The Ohio Jewish Chronicle, February 11, 1955, also had an advertisement for Max's 21 Restaurant & Delicatessen which mentions "Max's First Bagel Pizza" though no further description is provided. Later, the Ohio Jewish Chronicle, June 22, 1956, presented an advertisement for Johnny's Pizza which also offered a Bagel Pizza, though in 9 varieties. Again though, there are no further details, but this is the first mention of different varieties of pizza bagels that are available. The Greenville News, October 13, 1957 (SC) wrote that in New York, they have a pizza-bagel, "a bagel stuffed with pizza sauce."

The first reference to "egg bagels" seems to be The Cincinnati Enquirer, November 5, 1948, which had a pastry shop ad offering "Egg Bagel." The Tampa Tribune, January 15, 1949, had a similar bakery ad for Egg Bagel while The Bakersfield Californian, May 11, 1949, had a grocery store bakery add mentioning Egg Bagels. None of the ads though described what an egg bagel might be and how it differed from other bagels, except, of course, it contained eggs.

More bagel prices! The American Israelite, February 3, 1949 (Ohio) published an ad for Rothstein's Bakery, noting a dozen bagels costs 36 cents. The Rutland Daily Herald, February 17, 1949 (VT) printed a bakery ad, selling  a dozen Jewish Bagels for 35 cents, which can be compared with a dozen Plain Doughnuts for 25 cents. The Tuscon Daily Citizen, December 9, 1949, had an ad for a dozen Water Bagels for 35 cents. The Hattiesburg American, February 15, 1951 (Missouri) had an ad for freshly baked bagels at 40 cents a dozen. Fairly close prices for a dozen bagels.

There were some worries during this time period that bagel making might be a dying art. The Detroit Free Press, February 27, 1949, in an article titled Dying Bagel Art Survives in Detroit, talked about the Bagel King Bakery, a shop with 8 bakers that sold 9,600 bagels on a Saturday night. They stated that it took about 2/12 years of training to learn how to make bagels and that "A deft bagel twister can shape 84 in 5 minutes." Bagel making, by hand, is tough and skilled work. This isn't the only article I read that stated bagel making was a dying art.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 13, 1949, printed an amusing tidbit, "A pretzel is a bagel running around in the wrong circles.  A bagel is a pretzel that has gone straight."

In a technological step forward, The Journal News, June 6, 1949 (NY), reported on a new bagel slicer. A Cleveland restaurateur invented a machine, and is currently seeking a patent, to slice a bagel, "It includes a block of wood which holds a bagel firmly against a metal upright so it can't slip while being sliced into halves like an open clam." Nine years later, the Jewish Post (June 20, 1958) reported on a new bagel holder, created by a Miami plastics company. The article states, "The instrument has six sharp teeth on each side, to hold bagel firmly, and its use insures equal bagel halves for toasting,..."

The first frozen bagels? The Republican & Herald, July 4, 1949 (PA), in an article, Gossip In Gotham, mentioned that "Frozen bagels are due any day now, six to a package." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 6, 1950, in an article on frozen foods, noted that you can now find frozen bagels in San Francisco.

In prior newspaper references, the term "bagel" is presented as is, but the Tuscon Daily Citizen, November 4, 1949 (AZ) was the first I found with a Deli ad mentioning "New York Water Bagels," though no explanation for that descriptor was provided.

A new Jewish cookbook was highlighted in the Jewish Post, January 20, 1950. Jewish Cookery, by Leah W. IV. Pearlroth Leonard (previously the food columnist for The Post), is a 500 page tome, broken down into 35 chapters. The article states, "Mrs. Leonard, in her chapter on bread, writes sadly of the fast-disappearing art of bagel-making in America. She includes a recipe for these water doughnuts, which she insists are typically Jewish as gefilte fish "exacted from a retired baker, who learned the art in Europe and practiced it in one of our large cities for more than 40 years.” She tested it successfully, in spite of the baker’s warning that it could not possibly be done at home. Get a copy of "Jewish Cookery,” and bake yourself a batch of bagel." I love the description of bagels as "water doughnuts."

More bagel pricing. The Albuquerque Journal, March 4, 1950, published an ad for Court Bakery, noting a dozen bagels cost 34 cents. And in the Dunkirk Evening Observer, May 4, 1950 (NY), there was an ad for a dozen bagel rolls for 50 cents. The Daily Times, November 2, 1950 (MD) printed a bakery ad offering bagel rolls for 40 cents a dozen. The Daily Times, April 19, 1951 (MD) printed an ad for fresh bagels for 50 cents a dozen.

Green bagels? The Kingsport News, March 23, 1950, reported that in Manhattan, "The kosher places celebrating St. Patrick's Day with window displays of green matso balls and bagels." This would seem to predate when Murray Lender began making green bagels in 1959. Lender might have made the practice more popular, but it doesn't seem he was the first to make them.

More bagel recipes were provided in the Dayton Daily News, April 19, 1951, which described some traditional Passover foods. Their recipe was for Pesach'dige Bagels, and they used matzo meal and there was no boiling of the bagel dough. The Press & Sun Bulletin, October 26, 1951 (NY) also printed a Bagel recipe, though it was more traditional and included the necessity of boiling. The Pittsburgh Press, March 26, 1953 had a recipe for "bagel (pretzel roll)."

An intriguing financial opportunity was included in The Record, March 20, 1951 (NJ). In an ad titled "Sell Bagels." it stated, "If you now sell to groceries, luncheonettes or house-to-house, this is your opportunity to increase your income 100%. Call Cliffside..." with a telephone number. Selling bagels as a way to generate additional income? A door-to-door bagel salesperson? It sure beats selling  encyclopedias.

The Miami Daily News, March 23, 1951, announced the opening of a new English-Yiddish variety show entitled "Bagels & Yox for 1951." The show will have comedians, singers, and a ventriloquist, with Velvel, the only Yiddish-speaking dummy.  The March 25, 1951 edition mentions that the show is about three and a half hours long. Plus, much of the show is comedy with a significant amount od off-color humor. Cellophene wrapped bagels were also passed out to the audience. The April 19, 1951 issue mentioned that because of Passover, the show wouldn't be passing out bagels, but would pass out matzohs instead. The Daily News, June 2, 1951, reported on the success of this show and indicated it was due on Broadway in September.

I hadn't previously heard of a difference between Western and Eastern bagels. The Jewish PostMarch 23, 1951, though reported on them, "The difference between Western bagels and Eastern bagels caused a minor crisis on the set of Warner Bros. 'Tomorrow is Another Day.' Director Felix Feist discovered that the bagel-peddlers cart in a New York street was loaded with Western-type bagels--i.e. small and donut shaped. He insisted on the Eastern type--i.e. larger and pretzel shaped. The property master finally hustled up some of the Eastern bagels from a delicatessen on Los Angeles' Brooklyn Avenue."

Another bagel strike hits New York. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 17, 1951, reported that the Bagel Bakers of America, Local 338, A.F.L. closed 32 of the 34 bagel bakeries in the city, involving the 10 in Brooklyn. The workers claimed management had failed to live up to their contractual obligations. This led to a decrease in sales of lox as well, as "the true bagel devotee insisting the smoked salmon just doesn't go with anything else but a tooth-destroying bagel." The Miami News, January 26, 1952, reported that the strike was set to end on January 28. The union got a $3 per day raise for the employees, to a daily rate of $30.

The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, May 11, 1951, reported that nationally syndicated columnist George Sokolsky was upset that the new Dictionary of Americanisms failed to include the words "bagel" and "lox." The dictionary is a "two-volume publication on words added to the English language in this country." George noted the prevalence of these two words on Broadway. Other newspaper articles would later mention how readers could find either word in a dictionary so wrote to their local newspapers for mire information.

The Courier-Journal, February 21, 1952 (KY), published a long bagel article, noting that "Except in cities where there is a large Jewish population, the general population is in woeful ignorance of some mighty fine eating." It describes the nature of bagels, and also talks about certain related matters, such as "Among Orthodox Jews, it used to be a custom to serve people in mourning a dish of bagels, since the bagel, a circlet without beginning or end, represents the continuity of life." Bagels also figured into curses, as "So much have bagels entered into the thinking that little street urchins don't tell you to go to the devil--they'll tell you where to go, and then add the instructive phrase--'and bake a bagel."

Some controversy was brought to the bagel stage in an article in the The Boston Globe, March 9, 1952. The play, "Bagel & Yox," was playing at the Schubert Theater, led by New Yorker Lou Saxon, as the master of ceremonies. Lou stated, "Boston bagels are bigger and better than New York bagels. They taste better--I guess New Englanders use more butter." Though this comment probably pleased Bostonians, I'm not sure Lou's fellow New Yorkers were too happy.

The Burlington Free Press, March 28, 1952 (VT), described some of the food stores in the city of Burlington, with a section on Passover foods. The article mentions, "A newcomer to the bread line is available in one delicatessen that sells 75 dozen over Saturday and Sunday. It is bagel, the loaf shaped like a doughnut. The dough is boiled before it is baked, resulting in a hard crust and soft center." Seems bagels were relatively new in northern Vermont.

A bagel battle comes to New York. The Star-Gazette, April 5, 1952 (NY) reported that the Lovitch Bakery had been making "bagel" on only Sundays for almost forty years. It is specifically noted that "bagel" is a "singular, collective noun" and that it is "something made of flour, egg, and water, boiled in hot water for ten minutes and then oven-baked for 20 minutes." Their bagels sells for 40 cents a dozen. A super-grocer came to the area, selling bagels made in Washington, D.C., which is "shipped in daily, brown-and-serve affairs" that cost 65 cents a dozen. Baker Joe Lovitch calls them "synthetic."

One of the first mentions of a different variety of bagel is in the Orlando Evening Star, August 13, 1953, which mentions a "poppyseed bagel." The article also gives an amusing definition of lox, "Lox? That's a smoked salmon with sex."

Concerning bagel strikes, the Breckenridge American, December 27, 1953,  reported on a strike by 45 truck drivers, who delivered bagels to restaurants and neighborhood stores, which lasted for about 32 days. A settlement was eventually reached so the bagel famine ended. This story was also reported in a California newspaper and they needed to write a follow-up article to explain the nature of the bagel.

In a sports column of the Madera Daily News Tribune (December 31, 1953), they published an article titled, "Bagel is Explained." One of their readers wanted an explanation of the bagel and the article stated, "A bagel has been jocularly, but nevertheless somewhat accurately, described as a hardboiled doughnut. But unlike the doughnut it is (1) not sweet (2) not fried, but baked (3) not soft. About all it shares with the doughnut is its shape." The article continues, "It is a breakfast favorite of many a New Yorker, particularly those who have been exposed to the eating habits of the Yiddish population of the city; for a breakfast of lox (smoked salmon), cream cheese, and half-and-half (weak coffee halved with cream) is very often favored by Jewish folk." And it also states, "Dipped in coffee, its lobster-like outer shell becomes amenable to the dental onslaught of its devourer. Smeared with sweet-butter, after having been sliced across, it becomes a rare delicacy; garnished with fresh cream cheese, it is a delight; and if the salt, sweet flavor of smoked salmon is added (as the famous Lindy's restaurant serves it) the bagel becomes the center around which a whole breakfast may be built."

Why would a bagel article be presented in a sports column? The article address that question, "Many an earnest eastern lad grappling with the lower rungs of the ladder to fistic prominence has subsisted almost entirely on the bagel. Like Benjamin Franklin’s two-penny rolls, the bagel is a classic, inexpensive way to fill the void beneath the manly chest." The answer continues, "But the bagel for a long time was the stuff of which fighters were made ... at least in the early mornings of the early days of their careers." Boxing and bagels! This also harkens back to the prior article I mentioned, in the Hartford Courant, March 7, 1926, where a basketball time only had $1 for food and bought bagels.

Another initial mention of a different variety of bagel is in the Miami News, February 5, 1954, which states that Pumpernik's restaurant had invented pumpernickel bagels. This restaurant was established in 1953, and also added Pumpernik's Pantry, a bake shop. For more explanation, the Muncie Evening Press, March 11, 1954, published an article titled Once Lowly Bagel Suddenly Becomes a Glorified Food. The article noted that bagels were now selling better since the invention of the pumpernickel bagel by Pumpernik's. Arthur Godfrey, a famous entertainer and talent scout,  praised this bagel on the radio, spreading the word coast to coast, and everyone suddenly wanted pumpernickel bagels.

It might seem strange to some that pumpernickels bagels were invented in Florida and not New York. Other bakeries and shops seemed to quickly jump on the pumpernickel wagon. The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 25, 1954, spoke of something new in bagels, the pumpernickel bagel, and The Daily Record, August 13, 1954 (NJ) also promoted pumpernickel bagels. Obviously, the idea of pumpernickel bagels couldn't be restricted to Pumpernik's, so others decided to add it to their own selections. In New York, they took it to the new step. The Daily News, February 6, 1955 (NY) mentioned that onion pumpernickel bagels have become popular.

The Courier-News, February 16, 1956 (NJ), has a bakery ad mentioning Pumpernickel bagels, as well as both "water & egg bagel." It was interesting to learn in The Coshocton Democrat, April 11, 1956 (Ohio), that actor and comedian Jerry Lewis had developed a passion for pumpernickel bagels. Pumpernickel bagels certainly seemed to be extremely popular as the Democrat & Chronicle: May 20, 1956 wrote that "Jack Bell, columnist for the Miami Herald, reported that Charlie Bookbinder of Pumpernick's (it's a restaurant) boasted that he was on the verge of selling his one-millionth bagel." As the restaurant was only three years old, that is quite an achievement in such a short time.

Did you ever hear about canned bagels? In The Brooklyn Daily EagleDecember 29, 1954, there was an article highlighting Israel Hershman, the owner of the Coney Island Bagel Bakery, who is supposed to be a master at creating bagels. As the article states, "Bagels, allow me to instruct you, are created, not manufactured. Each one is fashioned by the touch of a skilled hand."  Hershman creates some bagels which will be canned, something new in bagel packaging. The bagels need to be created at the proper size so they fit within the can. Hershman has shipped these canned bagels to places including Rome and Israel. Who would have thought?

Hershman appears to not have been the only one to consider canned bagels. The Detroit Free Press, June 3, 1955, wrote that, "Bagels in a can. That's the offering of Bread Basket, Inc. claimed to be the first commercial bread product successfully canned without the use of preservatives. Prices at 24 cents for a can of our bagels..."  All you have to do is "Open the can, heat or toast and serve." The Tribune, August 26, 1955 (PA) gives more detail, that the Bread Basket, Inc., located in New York, is "offering vacuum packed canned bagels, four ready to serve."

The variety of bagels continued to expand, as mentioned in the Ohio Jewish Chronicle, November 11, 1955, with an advertisement for the Berkman-Yellen Bagelry. The ad mentions the variety of different bagels they sell, including rye, poppy seed, pumpernickel, cheese, onion, onion & poppy seed, and plain. This seems to predate most of the varieties of bagels that Lender's Bagels would later promote, except possibly the raisin bagel.

More worries about bagel being a dying art. The Sedalia Democrat, August 23, 1956 (Missouri) printed a fascinating article about bagels, aka water doughnuts," which stated "A number of Jewish bakers declare the art of bagel making has become almost lost in the United States. In fact, older men in the industry fear that bagels will disappear because the younger bakers show no enthusiasm for learning the method." The article also touched a bit on the bagel's history, noting that "In Eastern European countries the making of bagel was generally turned over to the skilled fingers of women who formed the circlets of raised dough and passed them onto the master-baker very rapidly. These water doughnuts must be handled with care and processed with precision." Finally, the article had a bagel recipe, noting variations which included sprinkling them with poppy seeds or coarse salt.

The Jewish PostFebruary 1, 1957, returned to the idea of making bagels at home, providing a complete recipe for the home cook. The ingredients list included: 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus 3 tblsps. for kneading board; 1 1/2 tsps. salt; 2 tblsps. sugar; 1 pkg. yeast; 2/3 cup warm water; 3 tblsps. oil or shortening; 1 egg; and 4 quarts boiling water, to which add 2 tblsps. sugar. The instructions include boiling and baking the bagel. The Daily News, November 2, 1957, also published another bagel recipe. Making bagels at home now seems to be a lost art.

Free bagels! The Escanaba Daily Press, March 20, 1957 (MI), wrote that in New York City, "A Teamsters local has an agreement with the New York City bagel manufacturers that permits all employees to take home two dozen free bagels at the end of each working day." A nice little benefit and interesting that it ended up as part of their contract.

Finally, an explanation for water bagels! The Daily News, January 12, 1958, wrote about Sam and Ann Goldsmith, who make bagels in a basement bakery in the Bronx. Their unsalted bagels outsell salted ones by 3 to 1. They also make the water bagel, "which is soaked in a boiling solution before baking to give it a glossy finish and considerable strength." This is what we know as the traditional New York style bagel, where boiling is involved. Thus, it seems logical that the egg bagels, which are the contrast to water bagels, do not involve boiling.

Mini-bagels? The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 27, 1958 published an add for a package of miniature Baglettes, which cost 39 cents, though the size of the package wasn't given.

The extent of the number of bagel bakeries in New York were explained in the Bay Ridge Home Reporter, February 7, 1958 (NY). "In 31 bagel bakeries, 204 bakers and 49 baker's helpers, members of Local 338 of the Bakery and Confectionary Employees' Union, produce all the water bagels sold in the city. Whole wheat and egg bagels for retail consumption only are made by individual bread bakers in local bakeries." It seems that the skills to produce water bagels are more valued as they are controlled by the union, allowing others to make whole wheat and egg bagels.

There are additional references to various bagel types such as the Jewish PostFebruary 14, 1958, which had an advertisement for a New York deli which sold a "New York Water and Pumpernickel Bagel." Ms. Baliska also mentioned in her book that during the mid-1950s, you could find Cinnamon Raisin and Onion bagels.

Bagel recipes continued to be published in various newspapers. The Boston Globe, April 2, 1958, printed a recipe for "Passover Bagel" but it didn't involved any boiling. In their June 12, 1958 issue though, they had another bagel recipe, and this one included the need for boiling. The June 29, 1958 issue then printed a slight correction to that recipe. The Salt Lake Tribune, November 28, 1958, as well as their June 26, 1959 issue, printed bagel recipes that included boiling. The Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, April 22, 1959 printed a Passover recipe for the bagel, but it didn't include boiling.

Hawaiian bagels? In a fascinating story, the Honolulu Star Bulletin, April 1, 1959, related the tale of Yun Yau Kam, maybe only Chinese bagel baker in the world. Based in Moiliili, Honolulu, he has been baking bagels for about four years. Initially, a friend of his wrote to the Jewish Bakers' Association in NY, asking for their bagel recipe so that they could provide to the local Jewish community. He received the authentic formula, which Kam quickly memorized and then "lost," refusing to reveal his ingredients and practices to others. He now make about 50 dozen bagels once a week for the Hawaiian Jewish community.

Prior to the 1960s, Ms. Balinska wrote that "...the cellar bakeries had sold their bagels wholesale to delicatessens, supermarkets and other bakeries." So, when a customer purchased a bagel, it wasn't fresh and hot out of the oven. Thus, toasting the bagel was common. However, as the 1960s began, technology began to change the nature of bagel bakeries, bringing them out of the cellars and onto street level. As she wrote, "For the bakery ‘bosses’ of the Bagel Bakers’ Association, the arrival of operations at street level was a business revelation. Consumers paid more than the retailer and could not get enough of the freshly baked hot bagel, something which had not been available in the days of wholesale. Blinking neon ‘HOT BAGELS’ signs were soon gracing the store windows of bakeries across the city." Nowadays, people may take for granted being able to buy a fresh, hot bagel but that wasn't always the case.

Previously, I mentioned the first reference I found to pizza bagels in 1948 in New Jersey. However, the Miami News, February 25, 1960, reported that the pizza bagel had been "invented by Arthur Adler of the Leamington, Ponce de Leon and Allison Hotels, and later swiped by Wolfie Cohen when he ran Pumpernik's." The article doesn't provide a date when Adler allegedly invented the pizza bagel. A couple other newspaper articles claim he invented the pizza bagel, but again, no details were provided. I suspect he might have been the first to make pizza bagels in the Florida area, but I don't believe he invented them. If so, there likely would have been additional references to his creations much earlier than 1960.

As the 1960s began, plenty of bagel varieties were being sold by various bakeries. The Cincinatti Enquirer, March 16, 1960, had an ad for plain and poppy seed bagels. The Valley News. January 20, 1961 (Van Nuys, CA) talked about the Western Bagel Baking Co. which makes a variety of bagels, such as onion, salted, poppyseed, egg, and water bagels. The Miami News, March 21, 1961 reported on the Hot Bagels Shops, which sell 6 varieties, including plain, salt, pumpernickel, onion, egg, and garlic. The Ithaca Journal, April 25, 1961, noted that Abel Bagels sells onion, egg, and water bagels.

Though The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 6, 1961, provided a bagel recipe, which included boiling, it noted that "There was a time, says the Jewish Festival Cookbook, when every Jewish housewife cherished her recipe for bagels." That seems to indicate that less and less people were making bagels at home.

Another bagel strike struck in February 1962. The Jewish PostFebruary 16, 1962, reported that 289 bagel bakers in New Jersey and New York went on strike, affecting 85% of New York City's bagel supply. The union wanted three week’s vacation with pay instead of two, fourteen holidays a year instead of eleven and wage increases.

The Miami News, November 11, 1962, wrote about Beach Bagel Bakeries, in South Beach, which makes 900 dozen bagels a night, including egg and water bagels. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 12, 1963, noted a Brooklyn restaurant created a twisted bagel, resembling a pretzel. It simply seemed to be a different shape.

Technology was starting to impact the bagel industry. For example, The News, March 20, 1963 (NJ) described how Harold Paitchell received a patent for a bagel bending machine, which "bangs dough into bagel bloops ready for cooking." The Rockland County Journal-News, March 27, 1963 (NY) had an ad which is one of the first references to frozen bagels. The ad was for Abel's Frozen Bagels, noting that they are available in all varieties, in a 6 pack for 29 cents. This is about the same time that Lender's Bagels began selling their own frozen bagels in 6 packs. The Daily News, October 9, 1963,  also had an advertisement for frozen bagels, the Bagel King Bagels, which were available in plain, onion, and pumpernickel, in a package of 6, also for 29 cents.

How many bagels were being consumed during this time period? Well, the South Bend Tribune, December 15, 1963 (Indiana) provided a figure, stating that in New York, about 2 million bagels were sold each week. That would be over 100 million bagels in a year, and doesn't include bagels consumed outside of New York.

The F&M College Reporter (April 3, 1964--Illinois) perpetuated some of the common myths about the origins of bagels, stating they were invented in Vienna around 1683, a claim Ms. Balinska thoroughly refutes. The article goes into length concerning out bagel issues. For example, it states, "To the purist, there is only one true bagel. It is handmade from white wheat gluten flour, salt water, malt, and and yeast, and simmered in hot water for two minutes before it is baked. A few flakes of onion or garlic are grudgingly permitted as a sign of the times, but other varieties of the Bagel are considered rolls with holes in them and not Bagels." The article continues on the number of bagel bakeries in NYC, "In New York City, 36 bakeries turn out nothing but Bagels at the rate of a quarter million per day and three times that many on the weekends when 60% of all Bagel are sold."

"Green" bagels? No, I'm not talking about St. Patrick's Day bagels. The Daily News, April 23, 1964 (NY) reported that a bagel baker, age 28, was arrested for selling marijuana. He claimed that he bought the weed from another bagel maker, and then sold it to adolescents and older people.

The Akron Beacon Journal, May 2, 1964, stated that National Bagel Day was May 5, celebrated by the University of Akron's Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. However, this actually appears to be more of a floating holiday, celebrated only by the fraternity. The May 20, 1967 issue stated National Bagel Day was celebrated on May 19 by the fraternity and the June 7, 1969 issue said National Bagel Day was celebrated on June 6. The Chicago Tribune, October 26, 1969, had an ad for Begun's of Elmhurst, which appears to be mainly a clothes store, and they declared National Bagel Day to be October 26, though they repeated the day four times, on a weekly basis.

More information on the bagel's origins are found in the Jewish PostJuly 3, 1964, especially concerning the term itself. "There is no Word in the German language Corresponding to the Yiddish word “baigle.” The root "baign” is derived from the German (to bend or to bow) in Yiddish "bogen.” But the formation "baigle” is purely Yiddish — which shows, of course, that Yiddish is a language by its own right and not a mere corrupted German. "Baigle” or "beigel” is the root “baign” or "beign” with the diminutive ending "1.” In German, if there were such a word, it would be "boegelein.” But there isn’t."

A differing view comes from the Jewish Post (July 24, 1964), where is it mentioned that, "The bagel originally came from the province of Silesia where it was known as a "bcugel.” The Jews in their migrations picked it up, adopted it and carried it with them as they moved eastward."

Though most bagel bakeries were located in New York, there were a small number of others across the country. The Chicago Tribune, December 20, 1964, wrote about the Litberg's Bryn Mawr Bagel Bakery, one of only two bagel bakeries in Chicago. Owned by Abe and Sam Litburg, their father, who was originally from Kiev, had opened the original bakery back in 1925. They now produce about 11,000 bagels each week. For some perspective, remember that New York produces a total of about 2 million bagels each week. The article discussed bagel purists, who only accept water bagels, and those outsell others by 20 to 1. Purists also see "pumpernickel, rye and whole wheat and poppy seed rolls as 'just rolls with holes.'

Finally, the article notes that the immersion of the dough into boiling water cooks away the starch, which helps to reduce the calories of a bagel. Thus, bagels are said to have only 50 calories while a slice of white bread has 72 calories. That is fascinating as modern bagels are now said to have an average of 250-300 calories. Even modern mini-bagels are said to have about 100 calories. So, what is the difference, reflective of the calorie disparity, between the bagels from the 1960s and those of the present era?

To Be Continued....

Part 1
Part 3

(Please note that this is a significantly expanded/revised version of a prior article I wrote on bagel history. It has more than tripled in length.)

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