The discussion of bagels during Passover could be considered sacriligeous, but since bacon has been brought into the conversation it has upped the ante considerably.
I grew up in a dim outpost of the British empire in deepest darkest Africa (David may take exception) and despite the fact that my father was from Latvia and my mother from Israel (of Polish/Russian parents) I didn't know from bagels. Lox was a rarity in landlocked Zimbabwe, but I had been acquainted with the delicacy.
My introduction to bagels was at the bus terminal in Tel Aviv where they were sold by hawkers dangling on hooks (the bagels, you understand). They were not the toroid shape (I was going to say donut (or doughnut), but that might trigger the debate- which came first: the bagel or the donut?) but much more like the New York preztel and slathered in salt.
When I moved to Johannesburg, the bagels were much more traditional and certainly lacking in North America innovation, being available as just plain.
When I say there are different types of bagels, I am not talking about poppy seed/ sesame of even (shudder) chocolate chip, raisin or cinnamon. I am talking about texture.
Today bagel is more associated with the shape, but the dough varies widely from light bread-like (ugh) to dense and moist. Purists insist that bagels must be boiled, but even then there are different schools of tradition. I believe the two pirincipal techniques are known as Montreal style and New York style.
Like certain Yiddish words, bagels have now become pervasive throughout US and Canada, even in places that have had no contact with Jews. From frozen packages in the supermarket to breakfast at Denny's in Texas, they are now part of our culture.
Sounds like when I worked at GCA. We built semiconductor process equipment. You know, the kind that goes in clean rooms. Management made us all wear white lab coats to make things look clean. Meanwhile, the assemblers and techs put food, drink, and cigarettes (1980s) on the machines in full view on the assembly floor.
In the telecom labs where I once worked there was a rule against food and drink at the bench.
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