Bagels have become a staple in the American diet and the variety at which they can be found these days is astonishing. You can get them however you like, whatever topping you want. Breakfast, lunch, and in between and beyond. How do you eat yours? But you might be left wondering ‘well, there must be a story there somewhere’. Indeed, there is.
Bagels: a staple of American food culture for over a century. Thanks, Jewish immigrants, for bringing your bagel-making magic from Eastern Europe to the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Imagine being the first person to bring bagels to a whole country. Well, it’s thought that Jewish immigrant Harry Lender opened the first bagel bakery in 1927 in New Haven, Connecticut. It all started with a small family business, hand-rolling and boiling bagels before baking them in a wood-fired oven. Before you knew it, Lender’s Bagels were the talk of the town and a household name across the country.
It’s bread with a hole – something must have happened for them to become a phenomenon. One reason for their popularity? Bagels are the ultimate chameleons – eat them plain, slather on spreads, or stuff them with anything under the sun. Plus, they’re the go-to for meals on the move and snack attacks.
Another potential reason for their widespread appeal is their association with Jewish culture and traditions. In Judaism, bagels were frequently offered during significant events like weddings and bar mitzvahs. This custom has been upheld over generations and has now integrated into American culture.
We could look at hundreds of reasons all day but perhaps the reason is just that they taste really really good.With a crispy exterior and a chewy interior, plus endless topping possibilities, bagels have become America’s breakfast BFF and go-to snack. It’s an amazing thing where you could ask 100 people in an office for their favorite toppings and they could all say something different.
Bagels, the delicious symbol of diversity in the United States. With various cultures adding their own flavors, they’re the ultimate melting pot food of American society.
You’ll find bagel shops all over the country whether you need authentic bagels in Massachusetts or New York. You can spot bagel shops in unexpected places like California and Texas, proving that bagels have truly woven themselves into the fabric of American cuisine.
Bagels: the ultimate American food MVP. Delicious, versatile, and a uniter of people from all walks of life. Next time you snag a bagel, savor its rich history and its status as a beloved icon of American food culture.