A Brief History of the Bagel

A bagel is a round bread, with a hole in the middle made of simple ingredients:  high-gluten flour, yeast, salt, water, and malt.  Its dough is boiled, then baked, and the result should be a rich caramel color.  It should not be pale and blond.  A bagel should weigh five ounces or less and should make a slight crackling sound when you bite into it.  A bagel should be eaten warm and, ideally, should be no more than four to five hours old when consumed.  All else is not a bagel.

The bagel’s birthplace is considered to be Poland.  A story popular in the United States is that the first bagel was produced as a tribute to Jan Sobieski, 17th Century King of Poland, after he saved Austria from Turkish invaders at the battle of Vienna in 1683.  According to Maria Balinska, the author of “The Bagel: The Surprising History of a Modest Bread” (Yale University Press) it is just that-a story.

The first known reference to the bagel among Jews in Poland, according to Balinska, precedes the Battle of Vienna by seven decades.  It is found, she says, in regulations issued in Yiddish in 1610 by the Jewish Council of Krakow outlining how much Jewish households were permitted to spend in celebrating the circumcision of a baby boy- “to avoid making Gentile neighbors envious, and also to make sure poorer Jews weren’t living above their means.”

Eastern European immigrants arriving in the United States at the turn of the 20thcentury brought the bagel with them to the streets of the Lower East Side.  The rise of the bagel in New York in inextricably tied to that of the trade unions, specifically Bagel Bakers Local 338, a federation of nearly 300 bagel craftsmen formed in NYC in the early 1900s.

Local 338 was, by all accounts, a tough and unswerving union.  It was set up according to strict rules that limited new membership to the sons of current members.  By 1915, it controlled 36 bagel bakeries in New York and New Jersey.  These bakeries produced the original New York Bagels, the standard against which all others are still, in some manner judged.

What did they look like?  They were a mere three ounces.  They were smaller and denser than their modern descendants with a crustier exterior and chewier interior.   They were made entirely by hand.

Local 338 held its ironclad grip on the bagel market for nearly half a century, until industrial bagel-making machines were introduced into the market in the early 1960s.  The introduction of the bagel machines meant any retailer or bakery owner could make their own bagels with non-union help.

Today Davidovich Bagels are the links to the Old World bagels brought to the Lower East Side of New York.   They are:

  • Kosher-Pas Yisroel
  • Retarded for 18-24 hours
  • Hand Made
  • Kettle Boiled
  • Plank Baked
  • Double Seeded
  • All Natural
  • Certified Made in NYC

and now for the modern World concerns

  • Non-GMO Certified
  • Vegan (except Egg)

DAVIDOVICH LOVES IT WORKERS AND IS STAYING IN NYC

DAVIDOVICH LOVES IT WORKERS AND IS INCREASING PAY TO ALL WORKERS WHILE STAYING IN NYC

Davidovich Bakery, the baker of the world famous Davidovich Bagel, like many other food manufacturers in NYC, is an Artisan Baking Company.  This means the very nature of its production depends on our beloved workers.   Over the years so many in the baking industry have chosen the path of automation and the elimination of manual labor, but at Davidovich we have stayed TRUE to our Artisan nature.   It is for this reason Davidovich Bagels have retained their essential, Artisan, traditional character and are beloved all over the world.  However, we face the same challenges as other food manufacturers in NYC are are now faced with dramatic and hard choices.   The ownership and management have spent many sleepless nights discussing the options and have come to an important and dramatic decision- We have decided to remain in the heart of NYC and continue our Artisan way of life.
 
Davidovich Bagels, NYC’s authentic hand-made, kettle boiled, plank baked, Non-GMO Certified Bagels, will continue to be manufactured and baked in NYC.

 

NYC, December 26, 2017 – As 2018 approaches NYC employers are faced with dramatic increases in the Minimum Wage paid to their employees.   This increase has been publicly debated and discussed and the voices of NYC’s residents and government have been heard in favor of a significantly increased minimum wage to “lift up the standard of living of New York City’s most valued asset:  its workers“. 

 
Many NYC companies have analyzed the impact of this increase on their bottom line and have determined that they simply can not absorb the additional labor cost.  It isn’t about politics or about being anti-labor or even corporate greed for most of them.   It is about economics.  For food companies, in particular, who survive on slim margins of under 20%, an increase to costs of 10-12% is the difference between survival and extinction.
 
 
For these employers they have only two options:
 
1.    Relocate from NYC’s jurisdiction entirely.   Many jurisdictions have minimum wage requirements that are nearly half of NYC’s.  New Jersey, for example, will require employers to pay $8.75 at a time that NYC will require $15 per hour.  This relocation will save companies significant dollars and help keep them financially viable.
2.    Stay in NYC but completely automate.    This option will replace minimum wage dependent people with machines that can be very productive and are not subject to such restrictions.
 
In either scenario the NYC worker will suffer complete loss of employment as their jobs are eliminated.   This unintended consequence will devastate the very workers that the minimum wage law is designed to assist.   $15 is only helpful to the workers left behind and who are actually employed.   There are no known figures on the impact on the local and regional economy from these dramatic, unprecedented changes in labor costs.  The outcome could be very grim for many companies and employees alike.
 
 
Why have we made this decision at Davidovich Bakery?   
We believe consumers have come to trust us as the TRUE link to old world Artisan baking and we can not betray our very nature nor can we betray our beloved  customers.
 
So what are we to do?   
We can not simply ignore the reality that we will facing a huge increase in Labor costs in just a few weeks.   Davidovich’s only option is to hope that the buying public in NYC and beyond really does believes in and support increasing the standard of living for workers like ours and are willing to do more than just vote on Election Day.   More important than casting a vote for mayor and Governor on this issue is supporting Artisan Companies like Davidovich.   We believe that consumers will be willing to pay a little bit more for hand-made, Artisan baked goods like ours.   We believe that consumers will be willing to look for labels and look for companies that still make their beloved baked goods the Artisan way and know that by buying those goods they are not only getting the best products in the marketplace but they are also supporting the cause of lifting up Artisan labors everywhere to new heights and to new standards of living.
 
We have passion and purpose in our cause of bringing the best baked goods to the world but now we also have deep pride in our commitment to our people and their families and to giving them an opportunity to achieve all that the American Dream has to offer.

How Eating Davidovich Bagels Can Help Your Metabolism- (From TIME)

November 29, 2017-Plenty of research has found that eating breakfast is important for weight maintenance, metabolism and overall good health. Now, the evidence gets even stronger: a small new randomized controlled trial finds that regularly eating a substantial morning meal directly affects how fat cells function in the body by changing the activity of genes involved in fat metabolism and insulin resistance. The findings suggest that eating breakfast every morning may help lower people’s risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the study authors say—and that even if a morning meal increases a person’s total calorie consumption, those calories may be offset by other energy-burning benefits.

To Read the Full Article from TIME Magazine:

http://time.com/5040325/eating-breakfast-metabolism/

Davidovich Bagels Are Headed to Egypt

NYC, December 7, 2016,

All Natural Products’ Davidovich Bakery announced today that it has reached a historic agreement that will bring NYC’s most beloved kettle boiled, plank baked, artisan Kosher, and, now, non-GMO Certified, bagels to Egypt Starting in 2017.

Company spokesperson, Marc Fintz, said “The international demand for our authentic New York City water boiled bagels has continued to skyrocket. The rise of global travel in the past 10 years has exposed people from all corners of the globe to our authentic bagels and the desire to introduce them to marketplaces from the Middle East to the Pacific Rim has been one of our largest growth segments.”

In addition to being found in the finest retailers in New York City, Davidovich Bagels can be found throughout the United States, the Far East, parts of Europe, and, starting in 2017, the Middle East.

About Davidovich Bakery For years New Yorkers enjoyed these delicious traditional bagels without ever even knowing the name of the Artisans who produced them. Then the word started to spread. People around NYC, around the United States, and all around the world started to talk about these unique, throwbacks to the original days of bagel making, the Davidovich Bagel. Sold in the finest establishments in the world. Davidovich Bagels use the finest ingredients, are hand made, kettle boiled, plank baked, Non GMO Certified, and Kosher. Davidovich Bagels have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Forbes, The NY Daily News, The Village Voice, The Forward, and many, many more publications. Featured on ABC News, The Jon Stewart Show, The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods and many more television programs.

DAVIDOVICH BAKERY TO ASSIST EXPLOSION VICTIMS

DAVIDOVICH BAKERY TO ASSIST EXPLOSION VICTIMS

 
 
April 8, 2015–  Davidovich Bakery, the makers of the world famous Davidovich Bagels, will be joining with Overseas Foodsthe Ruff Cluband others, in raising funds for the victims of the tragic East Village Collapse of March 26, 2015.   In the spirit of community involvement, Davidovich is pleased to be able to do its part to ease the burden of this tragedy, which left residents homeless, displaced businesses, resulted in injuries and the loss of life.
 
Below are the details of the event, held at the Ruff Club on April 12, 2015.  
 

ANNUAL MEMBERS’ BRUNCH

 
For you: 
Bagels, Mimosas, RC’s Famous Bloodies
 

 

For them:
Housemade Biscuits, Pawtying

 

 

 

DATE: Sunday, April 12, 1:00 pm

 

 

 

COST: FREE, w/ $5+ #EastVillageExplosion donations collected at door*

 

 

 

*Normally this event is free, but this year, please bring a few bucks for the East Village Collapse program of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC. 

 

 

 

RUFF CLUB WILL MATCH DONATIONS COLLECTED AT THE DOOR, UP TO $1000.