The bagel may or may not have been invented by Germans living in Poland in the 14th century, but here, it’s associated with Jewish American cuisine, as well as being one of the city’s most iconic foods. Revered by people all over the country, it’s rare to find a faithful duplication elsewhere. True bagels are boiled briefly before being baked. (Turn one over: If it has a grid pattern on the bottom, it was first steamed rather than boiled.) Chewy, glutinous, and highly caloric, a lone bagel is a meal and a very satisfying one, especially when schmeared with cream cheese and layered with lox or another form of cured fish.
Even today the bagel continues to evolve, as several points on this map will demonstrate. Here are some favorites, including some stunt bagels, all good enough to be wolfed down whole without any topping at all.Read More