Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The LuLac Edition #5, 114, May 21st, 2024



Our “Maybe I’m Amazed” logo.


MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that the best time to get a bagel in a grocery store is right in the morning when every bagel is stacked end to end, no one has touched and it is so fresh.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that the bagel, s a bread roll originated  in the Jewish communities of Poland.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that  bagels are traditionally made from yeasted wheat dough that is shaped by hand into a torus or ring, briefly boiled in water, and then baked. The result is a dense, chewy, doughy interior with a browned and sometimes crisp exterior.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that  bagels  are often topped with seeds baked on the outer crust—traditional choices include poppy and sesame seeds—or with salt grains. Different dough types include whole-grain and rye. In this area no one sells rye bagels except the Shop Rite in Moosic.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED……the basic roll-with-a-hole design, hundreds of years old, allows even cooking and baking of the dough; it also allows groups of bagels to be gathered on a string or dowel for handling, transportation, and retail display.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that the earliest known mention of a boiled-then-baked ring-shaped bread can be found in a 13th-century Syrian cookbook, where they are referred to as ka'ak. Bagel-like bread known as obwarzanek was common earlier in Poland as seen in royal family accounts from 1394. Bagels have been widely associated with Ashkenazi Jews since the 17th century; they were first mentioned in 1610 in Jewish community ordinances in Kraków, Poland.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that linguist Leo Rosten wrote in The Joys of Yiddish about the first known mention of the Polish word bajgiel derived from the Yiddish word bagel in the "Community Regulations" of the city of Kraków in 1610, which stated that the food was given as a gift to women in childbirth. There is some evidence that the bagel may have been made in Germany before being made in Poland.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..In the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, the bajgiel became a staple of Polish cuisine. Its name derives from the Yiddish word beygal from the German dialect word beugel, meaning 'ring' or 'bracelet'.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that 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. They had contracts with nearly all bagel bakeries in and around the city for its workers, who prepared all their bagels by hand.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..The bagel came into more general use throughout North America in the last quarter of the 20th century with automation. Daniel Thompson started work on the first commercially viable bagel machine in 1958; bagel baker Harry Lender, his son, Murray Lender, and Florence Sender leased this technology and pioneered automated production and distribution of frozen bagels in the 1960s.Murray also invented pre-slicing the bagel.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that Around 1900, the "bagel brunch" became popular in New York City.The bagel brunch consists of a bagel topped with lox, cream cheese, capers, tomato, and red onion. This and similar combinations of toppings have remained associated with bagels into the 21st century in the United States.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that there are different types of style for bagels. They are; New York style.  The New York bagel contains malt, is cold-fermented for several days to develop the flavors and enhance the crust, and is boiled in salted water before baking in a standard oven.[33] The resulting bagel has a fluffy interior and a chewy crust. According to CNN, Brooklynites believe New York bagels are the best due to the quality of the local water.

Montreal style……..Three Montreal-style bagels: one poppy and two sesame bagels

Different from the New York style, the Montreal-style bagel contains malt and sugar with no salt; it is boiled in honey-sweetened water before baking in a wood-fired oven. It is predominantly of the sesame "white" seeds variety (bagels in Toronto are similar to those made in New York in that they are less sweet, generally are coated with poppy seeds and are baked in a standard oven).[citation needed.

St. Louis style The St. Louis style bagel refers not to composition, but to a particular method of slicing the bagel. The St. Louis style bagels are sliced vertically multiple times, instead of the traditional single horizontal slice. The slices range from 3 to 6 mm (0.12 to 0.24 in) thick. This style of bagel was popularized by the St. Louis Bread Company, now known as Panera Bread.  Generally, the bagels are sliced into eight pieces using a bread slicer, which produces characteristically precise cuts (the bagel is not torn or crushed while slicing). This particular method of preparation increases the surface area available for spreads (e.g., cream cheese, butter). However, it decreases the portability of the bagel and prevents formation of sandwiches.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED.. that other  bagel styles can be found elsewhere; Chicago-style bagels are baked with steam. American chef John Mitzewich has a recipe for what he calls San Francisco-style bagels which yields bagels flatter than New York-style bagels, characterized by a rough-textured crust. The traditional London bagel (or beigel as it is sometimes spelled) is chewier and has a denser texture.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that you might be amazed about my rankings for local bagels styles. In the olden days, the Wyoming Valley was bagel heaven. The Pierce Bakery had authentic Jewish bagels and when The Bake House opened they followed that tradition. When Goldstein’s was kosher they too had great bagels. Today there are places like Bagel Art in Dallas and Bloomin’ Bagels in Mountaintop. Both are good. But here are my favorites:

1.  Wegman’s. Soft inside, firm on the outside. They don’t skimp on the toppings of poppyseed and everything bagels. Individually they are  priced high at $1.39 but are worth it because of the variety and the frequency of baking.

2.  Price Chopper. Bigger and rounder than Wegman’s, the calorie count is lower. Not much in terms of variety but they are tasty and are soft on the inside, hard on the top. However, their bite is not as good as Wegman’s. Priced at a buck, they are worth it. Plus, Price Chopper has them on sale once in a while.

3.  Schiel’s Market. Round, basic, okay with the toppings of seeds and a lower priced item. On sale sometimes, 5 for 4 bucks and really good toasted.

4.  Sanitary Bakery. The pumpernickel bagel is one of the best. Chewy, shiny, and great pumpernickel flavor.

5.  Shop Rite. They have rye bagels. Kind of hard but have a slight rye taste. If you want a rye flavor this is the place to get them. Will hold or set aside a special order if you call the bakery department. (wikipedia, NY Times, LuLac)





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