Bagels are traditionally eaten in the morning as a breakfast food. They are round, ring-shaped pieces of dough that are boiled and then baked inside of an oven. Most often the bagels are sliced through the center to form two disk-shaped halves that are buttered, smothered in cream cheese or jam, and then eaten. Today, there are several types of bagels, each slightly different.
New York Bagels
New York bagels are made with a special mixture of ingredients that includes egg, flour, salt and malt. The result is a very puffy bagel with a crunchy, hard crust on the outside. This contrast of textures is what sets them apart from other bagels. The New York bagel is covered in toppings like poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried onions or salt. An everything bagel is also popular; this simply combines all of the toppings on one bagel.
The Montreal-style bagel is made in the same way as a New York bagel except it has no salt in the dough. The dough is also boiled in honey and water before it is baked inside of an oven. The result is a sweeter-tasting bagel that is more similar to a pastry than a New York Bagel. These bagels also includes all kinds of toppings like poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic, onion and sea salt.
Today there are many flavorful bagels with fruit and other ingredients added to the dough. These sweet bagels make great treats for breakfast. They include strawberry bagels, cinnamon raisin bagels and even chocolate chip bagels. Another popular choice is the blueberry bagel, which may have taken a cue from the blueberry muffin. Mainly available in grocery stores as frozen items, these fruit-flavored bagels are also sold in bagel shops, breakfast diners and even some doughnut stores.
Bagels are prevalent in other areas of the world as well. Each region has something similar to the bagel you know and enjoy. The Chinese eat a bagel called the girde nan. Turkish nationals have a bagel that, aside from its flatter shape and wider size, is much like the sesame seed bagels found in the United States. Russians eat the bublik, a round, ring-shaped baked bread made of flour and egg, popular as a breakfast food in the former Soviet Union.
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