Saturday, January 13, 2024

National Bagel Day Review


For Bagel lovers (of which I am one), having a special day to celebrate the tasty bagel is delightful.

National Bagel Day is celebrated yearly on January 15. 

A collection of bagels

History of Bagels

Bagels have a long history extending back nearly 500 years to the Jewish families of Poland in the 1600s. They were brought to America by the large Polish-Jewish immigration in the 1800s and thrived in New York City where many of the immigrants settled. 

Bagel with lox, cream cheese,  capers, tomatoes and red onions
The 'bagel brunch' we still enjoy today began in the early 1900s. It's nearly the same as it was then, consisting of the popular lox, cream cheese, capers, tomatoes and red onions. Other flavors and toppings have evolved over time. It began as a plain bread roll made from yeasted wheat dough that is shaped by hand into a ring, briefly boiled in water, then baked, resulting in a dense, chewy, doughy interior with a browned exterior. Today the basic plain bagel also comes in a variety of flavors, including poppy seed, sesame seed, cinnamon raisin, bagels with berries, and the Everything Bagel. 


A Bagel

A Few Fun Bagel Facts

  • The first bagel began in the 1300s as a Polish obwarzanek, which was a thin, boiled, then baked ring of dough.
  • In 1610, The first written records about bagels was traced to Krakow, Poland, stating that bagels should be gifted to women soon after childbirth. (A new baby, a new bagel). 
  • By the early 1900s, bagels became wildly popular in the Jewish-immigrant communities of New York City. 
  • By the 1950s, Bagels became an American Staple. Today Bagels are sold in supermarkets everywhere and surpass the donut as an essential breakfast item. 


The original bagel today is still most popular acquired fresh from a bakery the day you wish to eat them.  But it is also handy to buy store-bought packages to have available anytime a bagel is desired.

Since bagels have their own special day, be sure to have some bagels on hand for January 15th to celebrate the official 'Bagel Day'. 

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*Bagel Day Holiday Review is written by Wednesday Elf

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  1. There is nothing I like better than an everthing bagel in the morning, toasted with butter and cream cheese!! Thanks so much Pat for the history, and the interesting facts about bagels. By the way, another one of my favorites is a Bacon, Egg, and Cheese bagel. Now I have to run out and pick up some bagels!!!

    1. Ah ~ another bagel lover. Hope you enjoy your breakfast bagels this morning, Sam. :)

  2. Now I'm ready for a bagel!!

    1. Me too, Mary Beth. I like mine like Sam does - toasted with cream cheese. Although, I prefer the poppy seed bagels. :)

  3. Another lover of bagels lives here. There is nothing better than fresh baked bagels. We have a Jewish community here and the bakery has line-ups a mile long for their fresh baked bagels. It's worth the wait too! Once you've had one of their bagels all the others pale in comparison. Alas, we can't get to the bakery as often as we'd like, so thank goodness we can get them locally.

    1. I agree that bakery bagels are the best, but handy that we can get them in grocery stores and online between bakery visits. Happy Bagel Day!

  4. That is very interesting! I had no idea bagels were boiled in water first. That makes me want to try my hand at baking my own bagels just to see if I could get it right. Thank you so much for this informative and fun post!

    1. Sylvestermouse, the 'bagels boiled in water first' surprised me too. If you do try baking your own bagels, come back and let us know how they turned out. I know you love trying new things in the kitchen. :)

  5. Having grown up in Manhattan, I've enjoyed bagels for as long as I can remember. Did you know that in many traditional bagel recipes, lye is added to the boiling water in which the dough is boiled before baking (yikes!)? I'm really hoping that practice is now obsolete! I'm fortunate that there are also some lower-carb bagel options now. Happy Bagel Day!

    1. Margaret, living in Manhattan, I'm sure you have had the 'best of the best' in bagels. I agree; none better ~ and that's from my memory of just one summer living there! Since you follow a low-carb diet plan, I'm glad there are lower-carb bagel options available to you so that you don't miss out enjoying bagels. :)

  6. We buy bagels on a regular basis - I absolutely love bagels with cream cheese, and a bit of jam on top - I also love them with lots of butter and brown sugar! craving them now

  7. The cream cheese and the 'lots' of butter are favorite bagel toppings to me as well, Barbara. Happy Bagel Day!

  8. Happy Bagel Day! I did not know there was a day for Bagels. Love your fun facts and thank you for sharing the history of bagels. I have no bagels in the house so will have to have some tomorrow!


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