bagels (was Re: Nonpareils, plus book recommendation)

Jenwa Hsung jenwahsung at
Mon Apr 2 14:30:37 EDT 2001

--- Anna Skarzynska <theania at> wrote:
> So the question remains: Who invented
> the bagel and what is
> its True Shape? Gili thinks it's American, but if
> so, whence the E. London
> version?

okay, so i've heard this story about how bagels were
invented, but there specific details escape me... but
here goes:

somewhere in Europe, a <insert governmental authority
figure here, probably king> decided to put a tax on
the use of ovens.  one clever baker realized that you
could perhaps make bread similar to donuts [hmm. 
wonder how donuts were invented... perhaps i'm making
the donut part up and he was just spontaneously
clever, i heard this story long long ago] and so he
boiled rings of bread dough to sell instead of baked
bread.  voila, bagels are born.  modern-day bagels are
often browned briefly in the oven after being boiled.

now that i think about it, it's possible that most of
the bakers in the place were Jewish, and this was an
anti-semitic tax, but who knows...

obDWJ: speaking of bakeries, does anyone know if the
"cream cakes" of Howl's Moving Castle actually exist?


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