Long-time readers of EclectEcon may remember that I have at times expressed an interest in finding the best bagel. Indeed, when I first arrived in London, UK, this summer, one of the first things I did was make a trip to Carmelli's in Golder's Green, just a shade northwest of London, to buy a plain bagel with cream cheese. I also bought a dozen plain bagels to take with me to Herstmonceux. Unfortunately, I do not have a fridge in my room this year, and so the bagels became too dry and less chewy as I worked my way through them. I ate them all over the next few days, and they were still far better than the fluffy pretenders provided by the food service at the castle, but as this book (mentioned below) points out, they lose something after even half a day.
Yesterday, MA sent me a link to the book, The Bagel: the surprising history of a modern bread... by Maria Balinska. I have spent some time perusing what is available of the book online via Amazon and have thoroughly enjoyed what I have read. At the very least, I recommend that bagel aficianados read those excerpts. The comparisons with Italian circle-breads are interesting, but the postscript that describes bagel establishments in Montreal, New York, Golder's Green, and Brick Lane is wonderful.