By bagel-loving Susie Wyshak
Imagine being banned from making bread because you’re Jewish. So goes the story of how, around 1610, jews in Poland took bread dough, formed cirles with a hole in the middle, boiled it THEN baked it to get around the “no bread” dictate. We can thank these good people for the bagels you now spread, chew and love. Another story goes that the circular shape represents the circle of life. It does for me!
At Saul’s Deli in Berkeley, the small team at San Francisco Schmendrick’s Bagels — who operate pop up bagel sales while making their bagels at a kitchen in Portrero / Mission — educated a small group of fanatics through words, pictures (see dog below) and ample samples.
- David walked us through bagel history, how they got their “rise” in tenements in New York where makers toiled in boiling basements hand rolling 700-800 bagels per hour.
- We taste tested Schmendrick’s bagels against other brands of various textures, smells and flavors. We learned the do’s and don’ts of flavor agents.
- And a tutorial on the amount of calcium carbonate per liter of water in various cities revealed San Francisco comes in second to New York, so we’re almost as good…almost.
Most importantly, Saul’s dished out some amazing cream cheese, lox, house made fall-apart pastrami Saul’s made using BN natural beef, Hungarian style schmear using parika + chile + onion … and many many bagels.
What a fun evening, especially having breakfast at dinner. Enjoy it through these visuals. A day later, the carb hangover continues. Love it!