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Eight Things You Didn’t Know about Bagels

Saffron Alexander wrote . . . . .

The simple bagel has been a staple in homes all over the world for over 400 years, but how much do you really know about your favourite lunchtime snack?

This National Bagel Day we round up 8 interesting facts you probably didn’t know about the humble bagel…

Brits are big fans

According to the New York Bakery Co., we get through 80 million packs and eat over 320 million bagels a year in the UK.

If they were all stacked up on top of each other our total bagel consumption would measure at approximately 1920600 metres – that’s around 6402 Eiffel Towers.

They have to be round

In a world where no food is safe from experimentation from hipster chefs looking for the next viral food trend – we’re looking at you Cronuts, sushi burgers, and ‘joffee’ – it’s relieving to know we’ll always be able to count on the bagel to stay true to form.

The word “bagel” comes from the German word “bougel”, meaning “bracelet”, so bakers are free to get as creative as they’d like when it comes to experimenting with weird flavours and toppings, but if they want it to be considered a true bagel it has to retain its circular shape with the hole in the middle.

Rainbow bagels exist

While bakers don’t have much leeway when it comes to shape, they are free to get as crazy as they like with everything else and one New York bakery seems to have taken that as a personal challenge.

The Bagel Store specialises in “artistically created bagels of unique colour and flavor”, which is clever marketing speak for a normal bagel dyed with all the colours in the rainbow, then slathered in either Nutella, cream cheese, rainbow sprinkles, candyfloss or cake mix filled with even more sprinkles – or maybe all of them at once, if you’re feeling brave enough.

They take so long to make, head baker Scot Rossillo can only produce 100 Rainbow Bagels every five hours. In comparison, he can make around 5000 normal bagels in the same time period.

They’ve been to space

In 2008 astronaut Gregory Chamitoff brought the first bagels to space after taking 18 sesame bagels with him to the International Space Station as part of his personal cargo allowance.

Chamitoff took bagels from his aunts bakery in Montreal. Mona Chamitoff, owner of the Original Fairmount Bagel Bakery that they were “very flattered” her nephew had decided to take the bagels with him into space, and they he had always loved the bagels and couldn’t imagine leaving Earth for six months without them.

The recipe used to be top secret

Nowadays anyone with an internet connection can find themselves a decent recipe for making bagels, but it wasn’t always like that.

In the early 1900s the International Beigel Bakers Union was founded and bagel making, considered a skilled trade, was restricted to union members only. Only sons of members of the union would be invited to join and group meetings were rumoured to have been conducted almost entirely in Yiddish.

Matthew Goodman, author of Jewish Food: The World at Table, once wrote: “Every bagel that was made in New York City up until the 1960s was a union bagel — every one. The reason why this union was strong was that they were the only ones who knew how to make a proper bagel. And that was the keys to the kingdom.”

This all changed in the 1960s after Daniel Thompson invented the automated bagel machine capable of making up to 4800 bagels per hour.

It used to be a four man job

Thompson’s invention has made the making of a bagel a fairly simple process, but it didn’t used to be. Back in the early 1900s making a bagel was task that took the skills of up to four people to complete.

As bagels are the only type of bread that requires a multi-step cooking process, two men would be employed to rol land shape the dough, a third – the “kettleman” – would boil the bagels, and the fourth man – known as the “oven man” – would bake them.

They used to be given as gifts…to new mothers

Unsure about what to gift your pregnant friends to welcome their new child into the world? Just give them a bagel.

According to ‘Regulations of Kracow, Poland’ in 1610 bagels were gifted to pregnant women during childbirth. Husbands would encourage their wives to “bite the bagel” while in labour and, after the child was born, bagels would later be used as teething rings.

The world’s most expensive bagel will set you back £800

Most of us would probably at the prospect of spending more than a few pounds on a bagel, but if you have more expensive tastes why not head to the Westin Hotel in New York?

Here you’ll be able to get your hands on the world’s most expensive bagel, and it’ll only cost you around £800.

The bagel earns its surprising price tag by using some of the most expensive ingredients in the world including white truffle cheese, Riesling jelly, goji berries, and gold leaf.

Source: The Telegraph

Bread Stuffed with Sausage, Vegetables, Cheese and Egg


4 French rolls
1/2 pound ground breakfast sausage
4 eggs
6 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
1/2 cup spinach leaves
3 mushrooms, sliced
2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons melted butter
pepper and salt, to taste
Sriracha, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Carefully hollow out the bread rolls, making sure the outside of the bread remains intact.
  3. Slice the mushrooms and cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters.
  4. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, cook the breakfast sausage until cooked through.
  5. Coat the inside of the buns with butter. Add 3-4 tablespoons of breakfast sausage followed by the Cheddar cheese, sliced mushrooms, spinach leaves, and the cherry tomatoes.
  6. Place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with tin foil. Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Remove and crack one egg into each bread boat. Return them to the oven for an additional 4-5 minutes and until the egg whites set and cooked appropriately (the yolks should be somewhat runny).
  8. Remove from the oven. Drizzle with Sriracha and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Food Steez

In Pictures: Breakfasts with Toasts

Findings Suggest Causal Association between Abdominal Fat and Development of Type 2 Diabetes, Coronary Heart Disease

A genetic predisposition to higher waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for body mass index (a measure of abdominal adiposity [fat]) was associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease, according to a study appearing in the February 14 issue of JAMA.

Obesity, typically defined on the basis of body mass index (BMI), is a leading cause of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease (CHD). However, for any given BMI, body fat distribution can vary substantially; some individuals store proportionally more fat around their visceral organs (abdominal adiposity) than on their thighs and hip. In observational studies, abdominal adiposity has been associated with type 2 diabetes and CHD. Whether these associations represent causal relationships remains uncertain.

Sekar Kathiresan, M.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, and colleagues examined whether a genetic predisposition to increased waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for BMI was associated with cardiometabolic quantitative traits (i.e., lipids, insulin, glucose, and systolic blood pressure), type 2 diabetes and CHD.

Estimates for cardiometabolic traits were based on a combined data set consisting of summary results from 4 genome-wide association studies conducted from 2007 to 2015, including up to 322,154 participants, as well as individual-level, cross-sectional data from the UK Biobank collected from 2007-2011, including 111,986 individuals.

The researchers found that genetic predisposition to higher waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for BMI was associated with increased levels of quantitative risk factors (lipids, insulin, glucose, and systolic blood pressure) as well as a higher risk for type 2 diabetes and CHD.

“These results permit several conclusions. First, these findings lend human genetic support to previous observations associating abdominal adiposity with cardiometabolic disease,” the authors write.

“Second, these results suggest that body fat distribution, beyond simple measurement of BMI, could explain part of the variation in risk of type 2 diabetes and CHD noted across individuals and subpopulations. … Third, waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for BMI might prove useful as a biomarker for the development of therapies to prevent type 2 diabetes and CHD.”

Source: EurekAlert!

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