National Bagel Day Date in the current year: January 15, 2024

National Bagel Day Bagels have been a popular item in American bakeries for quite some time. In fact, they are so popular that they even have their own holiday! National Bagel Day is celebrated annually on January 15.

Bagels are one of the many food items that have been brought to the United States by Jewish immigrants from Europe. A bagel is a type of bread roll that is boiled for a short time before baking, which results in a combination of a dense and chewy interior with a browned and crisp exterior. Bagels are usually made with yeast dough and may be topped with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, or salt grains.

The earliest known ring-shaped bread that is boiled and then baked is Middle Eastern ka’ak; it is mentioned in a 13th-century Syrian cookbook. The first mention of obwarzanek krakowski, a Polish bread that is probably a precursor to bagels, is dated 1394. The earliest mention of bagels can be found in Jewish community ordinances in Krakow dated 1610. Since then, bagels have been considered a staple of Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine.

Jewish immigrants from Poland brought bagels to the United States in the early 20th century. As hundreds of small bagel bakeries opened in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, their workers even established a trade union that represented their interests. Bagels were originally prepared by hand, but the invention of the bagel machine in the 2nd half of the 20th century allowed to automate their production and made bagels even more popular.

Bagels can be eaten plain, slathered with butter or cream cheese, or served as a sandwich with various toppings, which can be sweet or savory. Popular bagel toppings include peanut butter and jelly (a classic!), peanut butter and banana, cream cheese and cured or smoked salmon, avocado and poached or fried egg, ham and cheese, Nutella, marmalade, hummus, pastrami, turkey and Swiss cheese, and more.

Given the popularity of bagels, it is not surprising they have a holiday dedicated to them because Americans love to celebrate their favorite foods and dishes. Like with many unofficial food holidays, the history of National Bagel Day is unclear, but it has been observed since at least 2020. The best way to celebrate it is, of course, to have a delicious bagel or two and enjoy your favorite bagel combinations. If you’re feeling adventurous, try something more unusual than the good old bagel with cream cheese; how about a pizza bagel or a bagel burger?

To make your celebration even more interesting and exciting, you can invite your friends for a bagel crawl to find the best bagels in town, throw a bagel party, or even try baking bagels yourself. And don’t forget to snap a photo of your bagels and post it on social media with the hashtags #NationalBagelDay and #BagelDay to let others know about this amazing holiday.

National Bagel Day should not be confused with another bagel-related holiday, National Bagel and Lox Day. The latter is celebrated on February 9 in honor of an iconic bagel combination: a chewy bagel, cream cheese, and unsmoked brined salmon fillet.

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National Bagel Day, unofficial holidays, observances in the US, food days, Jewish cuisine, bagel toppings