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Bagelfest Began In 1986 In Mattoon, Il., Home Of The World’s Largest Bagel Factory

National Bagelfest Day on July 26th recognizes the kosher carbohydrate. Toast one and add a schmear or two. If you don’t, you’re not really celebrating.

  • Bagels made their way to the US through Polish-Jewish immigrants in the 1900s
  • In 1907, they created the International Beigel Bakers’ Union. For decades, Bagel Bakers Local 338 held contracts with nearly all bagel bakeries in and around the city for its workers.
  • Until the 1960s, bakeries made bagels by hand. Then Daniel Thompson invented the bagel maker and along came a heated debate of man versus the machine.
  • Prepackaged bagels first became available in grocery stores in the 1950’s.  Frozen bagels were introduced in 1960.
  • Credit for the bagels spread across the country goes in part to the efforts of bagel baker Harry Lender, his son, Murray Lender, and Florence Lender. Their pioneering efforts led to the automated production and distribution of frozen bagels in the 1960s.
  • Murray also invented pre-slicing the bagel.
  • Murray Lender, the owner of Lenders Bagels, founded National Bagelfest Day.  In 1986, Murray started the festival in Mattoon, Illinois, home of the world’s largest bagel factory.
  • BagelFest is a 5-day celebration that takes place in Mattoon, Illinois. When the Bagel Factory first came to the town of Mattoon, Illinois, Lender hosted a free bagel breakfast for all the citizens of the city. This breakfast eventually evolved into a multiple-day festival that celebrates the community every year.
  • The word Bagel comes from the German word “bougel,” meaning “bracelet,” and by way of the Yiddish “beygl” which means “ring.” So, if it is not in the shape of a ring or bracelet, it is NOT a bagel.
  • The origin of the bagel isn’t definitively known, but some believe that the breakfast favorite may have come from Germany to Poland in the 1300s. In Poland, they gained popularity when Queen Jadwiga opted for a bagel-like god called an “obwarzanek” during Lent. However, some records lead people to believe that bagels were actually invented in the 1600s.
  • One story says they were invented in Krakow, Poland, where they appeared in the city’s community regulations in 1610. This account says they were given as gifts to women in childbirth
  • Bagel’s 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).
  • Bagels are the only bread that is boiled before being baked.
  • That little hole in the center isn’t just for looks. Rumor has it the age-old “roll with the hole” design is rather efficient! The bagel hole comes in handy to thread multiple bagels onto a dowel, making transport easy, especially for street vendors selling the doughy delights.
  • North Carolina molecular scientist Robert Bohannon developed Buzz Donuts and Buzzed Bagels- caffeinated donuts and bagels in 2007.  They contain the caffeine equivalent of 2 cups of coffee.
  • 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.
  • Astronaut Gregory Chamitoff brought 18 sesame bagels from a bakery in Montreal, Canada with him on his journey to space in 2008! The chewy and delicious bread made it along the entire journey in the Space Shuttle and inspired great ideas for American astronauts to follow suit!
  • As Jews immigrated from Europe to North America, many settled in Toronto and MontrealCanada, which created their own style of bagels distinct from the New York style.
  • Montreal is actually famous for bagels.  What sets Montreal’s bagels apart from others is that they are poached in honey water before baking in a wood-fire burning oven. The result is a chewy, golden bagel that folks in Montreal boast about.
  • The “everything” bagel was possibly invented by a 15-year-old.  a New Yorker named Dave Gussin—who worked in a bagel shop in Howard Beach—told The New Yorker he actually invented the “everything bagel” back in 1980 at age 15. Gussin claimed he was sweeping seeds out of the oven and got the idea to combine them on a bagel. The shop then sold the “everything bagel” for an extra nickel. But, since the article came out, the claim has been contested, with another former bagel bakery worker declaring he made “everything” bagels in 1977.
  • Apple had to redo its bagel emoji.  In honor of National Bagel Day, in early 2018 Thomas Bagels released an emoji keyboard. Forty breakfast-centric emojis were on it, including an avocado-topped bagel.  Later that year, Apple finally released the bagel emoji on its own platform—but not without controversy. After people complained that the plain bagel had nothing on it, it got redesigned with cream cheese during the iOS 12.1 beta 4 cycle release.
  • In the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, the bajgiel became a staple of Polish cuisine and a staple of the Slavic diet generally.
  • Bagels have been used as a symbol of the continuous cycle of life—without beginning and without end.
  • In tennis, a “bagel” refers to a player winning a set 6–0; winning a match 6–0, 6–0, 6–0 is called a “triple bagel.”
  • “Bagel” is also a Yeshivish term for sleeping 12 hours straight—e.g., “I slept a bagel last night.”

Sources:

National Day Calendar

Foodimentary

Mobile-Cuisine

Bagel Bakery Gainesville

Eat This

Just Fun Facts

Twin Pines Apartments

Checkiday

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