To our nation it’s like having Biryani with fork and knife.” When a friend of mine said this to me about Bagels, I laughed a lot and kept laughing at intervals, and still do. I take serious offense when I see someone having burger, sandwich, hot dogs or pizza using cutleries. These foods are designed to eat with your hand and honestly, dining etiquette forgives you here. In simple words these foods taste better when you get dirty, or at least your hands. I love to have a few stains on my t-shirts. Don’t be ashamed to lick your fingers if that’s what you want to do.
Bagel may be interpreted as the ugly and tasteless counterpart of doughnut which is the reigning queen here but I love bagel, forgive me. I grew up in a culture where having doughnut dipped in typical Nepal tea is fun fare. Now I can’t do that anymore except for the confines of my house or in the company of family and close friends. Today I don’t dip them rather enjoy my black tea with beaten rice (cheura) which is more on the health side).
When my Jewish friend Daniel Ivesha introduced me to this miracle Bagel during my hotel school days, I thanked God. Had with cheese, Spanish onion, capers, salmon and chopped chives the one-hour travel was worth. It’s big in United States and Europe and introduced by Jewish settlers to whom it was like having “left over rice with milk”.
Like mentioned in my last raison d’être, after having successfully sending Turks back with the aid of Polish King Jan III, Sobieski designed a bread in the shape of stirrups due to his passion for riding. The simple hand rolled bread in the shape of stirrup is known as beugel (German). No wonder in Austria German language is influential. This may be the belief and hence the word bugle got lost in translation as musical instruments according to ancient accounts were made from animal horns in shape of stirrups. It means not being perfectly round, rather to continue in one direction after a circle. This theory is not accepted by all. Many believe it existed before and was given as a gift to women in childbirth representing the symbol of life. However, the pronunciation started getting distorted - something like beygel. In the streets of New York’s during 1880’s Jewish immigrants vendored the same which ultimately gave rise to the Americanized spelling - bagel.
Why to love Bagel?
It is healthy as it is not deep fried and it is more compact and chewier. Once the dough is shaped in with holes, they are boiled in vats with baking soda and then baked.
Whatever it is the sad part is I haven’t found one here. The expatriate community asks for it constantly. I am not too keen on doughnuts as they are not too healthy. Did I hear someone is doing bagels soon it town…was it an upcoming bakery called Just Baked…
Roast is a medium of dry heat cooking and we should stop calling deep fried chicken as roasted. !