Bagel history dates back to 1783, according to popular belief. They were created to honor King John III Sobieski of Poland, after he protected Austria's people from an attack by Turkish invaders.
Rumor has it a local Austrian baker created the bagel in the shape of a stirrup to honor the renowned horseman, and named it a "beugel" (the Austrian word for stirrup). The beugel quickly gained popularity throughout Eastern Europe, and, as it did so, the bagel evolved into a circular shape with a hole in the middle, as it appears today.
Bagels are the only bread that are boiled before baked. Once the bagel dough is shaped into a circle, they are dipped in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. After that, they are drained and baked for about 10 minutes.
That little hole in the center isn't just for looks. Rumor has it the age old "role with the hole" design is rather efficient! The bagel hole comes in handy to thread multiple bagels onto a dowel, making transport easily, especially for street vendors selling the doughy delights.
Too busy to down breakfast and your morning cuppa Joe? Try combing your caffeine fix with your breakfast bite with a Buzzed Bagel! Molecular biologist Robert Bohannon created a bagel that actually contains the caffeine equivalent of one to two cups of coffee. So drink, er, eat up!
Believe it or not, despite the myriad bagel flavors available from blueberry to the "everything" bagel, the most popular choice is plain, followed closely by sesame. Go figure.
Whether you love your bagel topped with lox, cream cheese or butter (No, this is not a diet-friendly fun fact. But, hey, National Bagel Day only comes once a year!), make sure to "toast" bagels this February 9!
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