Ask five runners what they like to eat before a run and at least one of them is likely to tell you the bagel is their first choice. These doughnut-shaped breads are a pre-run and post-race staple. For runners who struggle with GI issues (i.e. every runner), bagels are plain enough to not irritate the tummy but they’re dense enough to fuel adequately. It’s not secret that we love these baked goods, but did you know the following facts about bagels?
1. A plain, sesame, or poppy seed bagel is about 146 calories. By comparison, two slices of whole wheat bread are about 138 calories.
2. According to a 2009 Atlantic article, in Krakow, Poland in the 1600’s, bagels used to be given to women who just had a child. The bread’s circular shape was said to be a symbol of a full and complete year, as well as a long life.
3. Which city makes the best bagels? That’s up for debate however there has been a decades-long rivalry between Montreal and New York. Both cities will brag being the bagel capital of the world and each has their own unique flavour and recipe.
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4. In 2014, Montrealer Noah Bernamoff and New Yorker Matt Kliegman joined forces an opened Black Seed– a bagel shop in New York that combined elements of the Montreal and New York bagels in once recipe. They sold out on their first morning.
5. A woman named Maria Balinska spent much of her life researching bagels. She claims that the food originated in east Poland or Germany in the 14th century.
6. Like your bagels topped with cream cheese? In the 1950’s, bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon was taking off in the Jewish community as part of Lox, a Sunday morning ritual. According to Jews and Their Food-ways, this could have been related to Joseph Kraft’s Philadelphia marketing of cream cheese during this decade. The cream cheese is still one of the most popular bagel toppings.
7. Montreal is undeniably the bagel capital of Canada. Traditional Montreal bagels are sweeter and more dense. In their making, they’re boiled first, sweetened with honey and then baked in a wood burning oven.
8. Runners are really into their bagels– that’s not news. Some people in the U.S. have actually started a series called Beer & Bagel Off-Road Series. It started in Nebraska and encourages beer drinkers and bagel-crazy runners to come out for a fun four miler.
9. One bagel has the content of 10 per cent of an average person’s daily carb intake– no wonder runner’s love them so much!
10. Before it was called Canada Running Series, the series of well-known Canadian running events had the name: The Great Canadian Bagel Series.