It’s hard to believe, but H&H Bagels, the New York landmark is closing it store. It’s hard to say with precision the origins of the bagel, except that’s been an integral part of the NYC culture since immigration from eastern Europe .The New York Times in 1960 said that “the bagel was an unsweetened donut with rigor-mortis,”. Despite this touch of condescension, some people consider the bagel an almost spiritual object, a transcendent experience; the round shape is a metaphor for wholeness and reconciliation, and the boiling and baking procedures to produce it in a brick kiln a symbol of the union of water and fire. …
In “The Joys of Yiddish,” however, Leo Rosten notes that the first printed mention of bagels came even earlier, in 1610, in the Community Regulations of Krakow, Poland. These stated that “bagels would be given as a gift to any woman in childbirth.” The ring shape may have been seen as a symbol of life. …
H&H, the legendary bagel manufacturer, which was been featured on “Seinfeld” and which ships its bagels worldwide, has faced its share of problems in recent years. Last year owner Helmer Toro pleaded guilty to three felony charges for pocketing more than $300,000 in taxes owed to the state.
According to authorities, Toro took deductions from his employees’ paychecks but failed to pay sales and other taxes. He also manipulated the unemployment-insurance tax system, using shell companies to transfer employees from one business to another in order to receive a lower rate. H & H filed city and state withholding tax returns under six different company names, according to authorities. Read More:http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2011/06/21/hhbagels-to-close-on-upper-west-side-manhatta/
Sometime after World War I, Meyer “Mickey” Thompson, the son of a bagel baker in Winnipeg, Canada, started experimenting with a bagel-making machine in his workshop over the family bakery. Over the years, he invented several models, but each had a serious flaw. One was too slow to be commercially viable, another impeded the rising process. A third worked well, but engineers said it would be too
complicated and expensive to build….
…In the early 1960s, Thompson’s son, Daniel, who had picked up his father’s challenge, invented the Thompson Bagel Machine, capable of producing 200 to 400 bagels an hour. The first of these machines was installed in a six-car garage in New Haven, Conn., where Murray Lender was setting up the first frozen bagel business. Within a few years, Lender’s bagels were in supermarket freezers around the country. Mass production and distribution of bagels turned the rest
he nation into bagel lovers. By 1988, Americans were eating an average of one bagel per month and in 1993, bagel consumption doubled to an average of one bagel every two weeks, according to the American Bagel Association. Read More:http://www.nyc24.org/2002/issue01/story02/page03.asp