The Jews Great Contribution to Civilization
The other day, Kid Various saw a jalapeno bagel. That is...so...wrong.
When my family first moved to Larchmont, N.Y., in 1946, my father had a feeling that the neighbors living behind us were Jewish. In those days, you didn't broadcast your religion, so he devised a plan that would reveal their cultural background. We would go to the Bronx and bring back some bagels. If our neighbors knew what the rolls were, they were Jewish. If they stared at them in bewilderment, we would know they were not. To my father's delight, as soon as our neighbors saw the bagels, they recognized them. Nowadays, dad's devious plan to determine a neighbor's religion wouldn't work. After all, who doesn't know what a bagel is? But what are the origins of this once-mysterious bread, and what happened between 1946 and today that turned the bagel into a trans-cultural and all-American breakfast bun?