I Love Bagels by Zoey Topper

I am the type of girl who loves food. If we are at a social gathering, a good place to find me is by the snack table.

Throughout the day, I am constantly eating. But of all the foods available to me, I would say that my favorite thing above all else is a warm, toasted bagel.

In my opinion, a bagel is the tastiest form of bread known to mankind. According to the Huffington Post, bagels were invented in the early 1600s in Krakow, Poland, and were given as a gift to pregnant women.

By the 18th century, bagels were a staple of the Polish national diet. It soon became a tradition among conservative Jewish families to make bagels on Saturday evenings at the conclusion of the Sabbath. Due to Jewish tradition, Jews are not allowed to cook on the Sabbath so bagels became popular because they could be baked very quickly. Immigrant Jews later brought bagels to the United States and created bagel businesses throughout New York City.

However, bagels didn’t become popular until the last quarter of the 20th century. Due to the efforts of bagel bakers, Harry Lender and Florence Sender, who pioneered production and distribution of frozen bagels in the 1960s, bagels became the well-liked breakfast food they are today.

There are three aspects of bagels that I value the most:

1.    Bagels brighten up any morning. Every morning when I wake up and go to my college dining hall, I get a bagel for breakfast. When reflecting upon my day, I always discover that one of the best parts is the bagel I ate for breakfast. Not only are they delicious, but they are very filling and a hearty start to my day. I love how bagels are so fluffy but thick at the same time. The consistency is perfect: soft on the inside and hard on the outside. Another thing that I love is the variety because there are so many different options of bagels and toppings, which makes for an exciting breakfast. (I believe that my day can be determined by what I decide to put on my bagel. For example, if I put cream cheese on my bagel, it’s going to be an average day. But if I put butter and jam, I feel more adventurous and take more risks that day. Overall, eating a bagel can put a smile on my face and anything that can make a person that happy is worth keeping around.)

2.    I love bagels because they reminds me of my family and my Jewish heritage. Since I was younger, my family would get together every Sunday morning at my grandparents’ house for bagels and lox, a traditional Jewish dish. Everyone, including my grandparents, my parents, my brother, my aunts and uncles and my cousins, would gather at their house to discuss the week’s past events over bagels. It became a tradition and we continued it until my grandpa passed away three years ago. Sadly, my family doesn’t do it as often anymore but when we do, the experience makes me think of my grandpa and the great family bonding we had over bagels. Bagels and lox truly remind me of my family and the memories we’ve shared together. In addition, bagels and lox are served on Yom Kippur to break the fast and served after services on Saturday mornings and on other Jewish holidays. Bagels provide me with a feeling of closeness to my culture and my ancestors, who have been eating bagels since the 1700s. Bagels and lox have become a common experience that Jews share because it can bring people together on any occasion and can create an automatic bond.

3.    Finally, bagels have taught me to not worry about what I eat or my body weight. Bagels, including a spread, can be around 500 calories and eating them everyday can add up too a lot of extra weight. According to FitSugar.com, one bagel is equivalent to five slices of bread (“Calorie wise: a,” 2007).

My friends are constantly telling me that bagels will make me fat and go straight to places I wouldn’t want it to go. However, that doesn’t bother me because bagels are important to my happiness and are too delicious to stop eating.

As a result, they have opened my eyes to a new world. A world where eating healthy doesn’t matter and eating as much as you want is acceptable because since you only live life once, why not eat everything you desire in the moment?

Stressing over food doesn’t make sense because if you are happy with the food that you are eating, then nothing should stop you. So even though bagels can make you gain weight, I don’t believe it matters.  What matters is eating a delicious bagel!

One Comment

  1. Lisa

    Fantastic blog entry Zoey! I LOVE bagels too, especially NYC/LI bagels. And, Bruegger’s is high on my list too! Keep eating those bagels and being happy 🙂

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