What is National Bagel Day?
National Bagel Day is January 15. Bagels have a history that is richer than your favorite cream cheese spread! These rounds of dough can be found just about anywhere: breakfast joints, coffee shops, supermarkets, or even your kitchen pantry. In fact, 2018 saw more than 354 million bagels sold.
National Bagel Day History
Bagels have a long and highly documented history that travels from the Jewish families of Poland in the 1600s to wrapped up in parchment paper in your hands today. And, unlike many things created nearly five-hundred years ago, bagels are remarkably unchanged. Sure, cream cheeses and butters and flavors and toppings may have evolved over time but bagel is a beigel is a beygal.
Bagels made the jump to America with a massive Polish-Jewish immigration in the 1800s that firmly entrenched itself in New York City where it thrived. In fact, an entire union was created in the early 1900s called Bagel Bakers Local 338 to support the growing, immigrant-led industry. That also begat the “bagel brunch,” that we still enjoy to this day with little to no changes: lox, cream cheese, capers, tomatoes, and red onions.
While bagels were hugely popular in New York City almost immediately, they didn’t make their way to the national scale until the mid 20th-century where automation and bread slicing (the coolest thing!) made mass manufacturing much more efficient. Since then, bagels have taken off to include a variety of flours, toppings, dips and smears but still remain – by and large – exactly as they were in the 1600s.
Traditions of National Bagel Day
Eat a bagel
Pretty easy! Head to your local bakery and take a big ole bite into a yummy, warm, crispy, doughy, bagel with your favorite toppings!
Bake a bagel
Surprisingly simple and rather enjoyable, there’s nothing that tastes or smells better than freshly baked bagels straight out of the oven. A great activity for you and your loved ones.
Give a bagel
Considering that the initial written context of bagels came as a traditional gift for pregnant women, this will go great at any maternity ward! Or, just give it to someone you know who lives bagels.
National Bagel Day Stats
54% like ’em fresh
Of Americans eat fresh bagels. While it may be convenient to stock up on store-bought, it’s clear that we have a preferred palate for freshly baked bagels.
77% make ’em a meal
Of bagels are eaten as the main dish for whichever meal that may be. These hardy rings of fresh dough are sustainable enough to
75% like ’em toasty
Of bagel eaters prefer theirs warmed up and will gladly buy a fresh, hot one over anything cold. With nearly 90 percent of users putting cream cheese, butter, or some kind of topping on it, it’s clear that the contrast between hot and cold is the desired method of bagel consumption.