views updated


Round, with a hole in the middle, the bagel is made with high gluten flour and is boiled before it is baked creating a crispy outer crust and a chewy inside. Brought to the United States by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe during the 1900s-1920s, the bagel has become a popular food. From 1960-1990, consumption of bagels has skyrocketed throughout the United States with the invention of mass marketed frozen bagels and the addition of flavors such as blueberry. Bagel purists, however, insist that they are best when eaten fresh and plain.

—S. Naomi Finkelstein

Further Reading:

Bagel, Marilyn. The Bagel Bible: For Bagel Lovers, the Complete Guide to Great Noshing. Old Saybrook, Connecticut, Globe Peqout, 1995.

Berman, Connie, and Suzanne Munshower. Bagelmania: The "Hole" Story. Tucson, Arizona, HP Books, 1987.