a baker’s dozen

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. …

---Once upon a time, there was a little Jewish bakery in Brooklyn. For thirty years, it quietly sold bagels, onion rolls and challah to the faithful. Then, trying to expand, it went into packaged ryes, pumpernickel, raisin bread and other trendy products. Jews stopped buying and gentiles didn't start. Things went from bad to worse, until one day the little bakery went into bankruptcy. Bernbach, who was Jewish, tasted the packaged breads and said, "No Jew would eat your bread. If you want more business, we have to advertise to the gentiles." So DDB created a very witty, very smart print campaign aimed at New York's army of Wonder Bread eaters. Then DDB created subway posters with one of the most famous slogans in the advertising business. Each ad showed people, like a Cherokee Indian or an Asian, eating the bread with a big smile under the line: "You don't have to be Jewish to love Levy's." The posters were beautifully designed... Read More:http://www.cbc.ca/ageofpersuasion/episode/season-5/2011/06/11/season-five-terrys-book-club-1/


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/

Read More:http://ameblo.jp/shiki-87/entry-10536094050.html


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….

---Oh, ick. Adfreak points us over to this ad for the River City Bagel and Bakery in Boise, Idaho. Apparently they wanted to get a little clever and tie their product to the Vagina Monologues, which is playing in the area. We're not prudes about anatomy but the thought of quim over our next lox shmear brings us close to queasy.--- Read More:http://www.adrants.com/medium/newspaper/index.php?page=9

…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

---The brilliance of this fascinating chronicle is that by the end of the trail, it matters not a wit who’s Jewish and who isn’t. Untested assumptions will continue to poison the planet: ignorance is a much deadlier enemy than any race, colour or creed.--- Jamie Kastner Read More:http://www.jamesweggreview.org/Articles.aspx?ID=239

Read More:http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/02/answers-about-the-history-of-the-bagel/

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