I've heard that bagels are one of the objects in the kitchen most likely to be the cause of a trip to the emergency room, usually the result of someone not quite awake along with a hard bagel and a dull knife, leading to a slip of the knife.
For this reason I think OSHA should require bagel slicers in all corporate kitchens. (My actual motive is that if companies are required to buy a bagel slicer, then they'll think "well, we have the slicer, so we might as well buy some bagels for the employees).
Clearly I'm not on a Paleo diet, but I've heard Paleontologists don't taste very good anyway.
I believe other essential features of bagels in the lab are that they remain fresh without refrigeration, they don't leave grease stains or get your fingers sticky, and partially eaten portions keep until you return (if science interrupts you in the middle of a snack).
Uh, I'd be more worried about the drinks getting into the equipment if spilled. And the ESD generating properties of the plastic containers. We got rid of styrofoam cups a few years ago in favor of paper - help the environment and cut ESD at the same time, but I make a point of not bringing drinks into the lab ever and encourage others to do the same.
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.
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.
New York Vs. Montreal bagels: My daughter will be visiting Montral this summer and I'm sure there will be Montreal bagels for all to eat.
I do recall visting a bagel bakery in Toronto, but it's been about 8 years.
New Yorkers will claim that bagels made outside of NYC can't possibly be as good. But they say that about Pizza, Chinese food, Italian food, Deli, and so on. To them, if it's different than NY, it can't possibly be as good.
Have you read Save the Deli? I have asigned copy. The author, David Sax, is from Toronto.
Back when T&MW still had an office, a co-worker who lives in Boston's distant western suburbs claimed that a local bakery had supurb bagels and challenged me to prove otherwise. I brought in a dozen from Rosenfeld's and she brought in a dozen from the far west. At the end of the day. All Rosenfeld's were eaten and the her's just got stale.
When I first moved from Brooklyn to north of Boston in 1971, I lived in the far north, near the New Hampshire line. The only thing even called a bagel was frozen in the supermarket. People had never even heard of bagels there and then. On trips to Brookline, we found Kupels bagels and wsould bring them back just like we did when we returned to NY.
I'm happy to say that Kupels is still in business and I can walk there now. The lines are Sunday mornings are out the door.
In Boston, you can't get a decent bagel at night. It's a breakfast and lunch food. In brooklyn, we wouldgo out on saturday nights and buy the Sunday paper and adozen bagels. Can't do that here.
@Antedeluvian... "I grew up in a dim outpost of the British empire in deepest darkest Africa (David may take exception) "
Well I grew up in the same part of deepest darkest Africa and I take no exception at all, in fact I wear that badge with pride. My co-workers are keen for me to take Australian citizenship because then I will have to stop asking them what they would do without Zimbabweans, every time I do something that they can't. Unlike Aubrey I am from pure British stock (I may be rubbish, but I'm BRITISH rubbish!) But I tend to emphasise my Zimbabwean heritage over my British to my Aussie colleagues.....
On the subject of Bagels I have to confess that I have never tried one, which as a closet foodie gives me some shame (pain, even... :-). I can't say I have ever seen them In Australia (can any other Aussie readers point me towards a good vendor??)
However I like them already...anything which goes with smoked salmon and cream cheese (am I allowed to add capers?) i am sure will tickle my fancy.
As pointed out in your link, true capers are the flower buds of the caper plant. But a friend of mine, or maybe my mom, years ago tried Nasturtium seeds and they were not bad. I have a lot of nasturtiums in the garden and the frosts are beginning here so when I pull them out I might try that. You can also use nasturtium leaves and flowers in salads - crisp peppery taste.
Any pointers to good Bagels in Sydney will be gratefully received!
@MB.... this place is in a shopping centre so not sure if it is the real deal. I see they do a bacon one (row 2, Bagel 5) right next to my choice of smoked salmon (Row 3, Bagel 6). Anyway, I will be there on May 8th I hope, and will report back.....
@MB - Martin you are obviously a purist in this regard and thought I don't always agree with them, I have learned that purists usually know what they are talking about. Also, on of your photo captions states that "Smoked salmon, also known as lox, is acceptable to bagel purists". So I feel fairly safe. Smoked salmon, with cream cheese and capers, would be my favourite sandwich filling, and I would not want too much other stuff with it. But I will try and get a couple more plain bagels to take away as well (I will have a long drive home so they will come in handy I am sure......)
@Antedeluvian - "our tradition is to eat them open-face. More lox per unit area!". I saw that from the photo in the main article. As you may have seen from the link in my post above, the vendow I will go to only offers them as sandwiches (I guess that makes them easier to carry in a bag :-).
If When I make it to EELive 2015 I hope that you and/or Martin will take me in hand and expose me to some genuine Bagels!
This morning, I stopped into a life place for a bagel. The bagelitself was ok as it had a good crust, but the people who prepared it ruined it. How so? They cut it on half after slicing ti and applying cream cheese. Begels must be fully round. Once you cut a bagel in half, it's no longer a bagel, just another piece of bread.
"Once you cut a bagel in half, it's no longer a bagel, just another piece of bread."
I thought Bagels were special because they were not just ordinary bread - the dough being boiled first? However I would agree with your sentiments. I don't cut my morning toast in half either, I like a full slice to grip onto.
I grew up in northern NJ in the late '40s and '50s. One of the first solid foods I learned to love was the bagel. In high school, my friends and I used to go to the Watson Bagel Bakery in Newark in the late evening (Watson was a 24/7 operation, a rarity in those days), pick up a dozen, and go to the end of the runway at Newark Airport and watch planes taking off and landing while munching on the delectable treasures. The entire group ended up in various parts of the electronics industry, mostly starting in Engineering. Thus I would argue that the bagel rightfully deserves to be named the official food of the entire industry, not just T&M! My only brush with T&M was a summer job after I graduated (before I went off to grad school) at the NJ division of HP (previously known as Harrison Labs). Here's a link to a fascinating tale of the Watson Bagel Bakeries and some bagel history: http://www.oldnewark.com/memories/weequahic/bodianbagel.htm
PS: we always ate ours "au naturelle" and uncut! Now, Sunday brunch was a different story.... a zillion varieties of smoked fish, cream cheese, onions, really good Jersey tomatoes (my grandfather was a produce wholesaler), herring, etc. Sorry, Max: no bacon!
just that adding bacon (perhaps with a few chives or green onions) on top of the cream cheese transforms a humble bagel into a culinary masterpiece ... I'm drooling just thinking about it (or maybe I'm just drooling)
I don't think Martin was compaining about slicing the bagel in the horizontal plane, leaving the hole as a whole(??). I am sure he was maintaing that bagel purity is compromiised by slicing it vertically after slicing it horizontally.
@Antedeluvian is correct, by "slicing" I meant that you slice the bagel into, well slices. Each half must continat a cimplete hole. If you "cut a bagel in half" you end up with two half circles. That is a descration of the sacred bagel and, well, there ought to be a law.
MeasurementBlues, do you live in New York City? This is definitely a NYC thing. My uncle lived in Massachusetts and was fine, but the moment he crossed the border into NYC he became a New Yorker. The transformation was immediate and complete. It is as though he's lived there his whole life.
Now our California bagels aren't good enough for him. (In fact, I think he refuses to even call them bagels).
So what happens when you bite into the bagel? Is it sacrilege against the holy (wholly, hole-y?) bagel to destroy its circle with your teeth?
Funny you should say that. I was born in NYC and moved to Massachusetts when I was 13. I do think there are a few places on Boston where you can get a good bagel and there are places in NYC where the bagels are not so good.
I do admit that when it comes to food, I do revert back when I cross the border. But only on food. I will never again root for a NYC sports team.
But in the reverse, I refuse to call that Manhattan red clam soup a chowder. Being from New England, I know that chowder is white by definition.
As for breaking the bagel hole with your teeth, that's allowed.
I guess I should clarify that the BAGELS were "au naturelle" not the consumers! Reminds me of the then-current translation of MIT's Latin motto: "clean mind, clean body; take your pick!" (apologies to the great math professor Tom Lehrer who came up with it).