Here’s the truth, the hole truth, and nothing but the truth: today is National Bagels and Lox Day.
I was pretty excited for this holiday. I love bagels – they’re in my Top 2 list of favorite foods with a hole in the center – but had never tried one with lox. In fact, I wasn’t completely sure what lox even is. Some kind of fish, I knew that much. Turns out it’s thinly sliced smoked salmon – yum! My favorite fish. Living in the Pacific Northwest, it’s basically a prerequisite that you like salmon. Apparently Tara didn’t get the memo (ahem), but we decided to let her in anyway.
Bagels and lox traditionally consists of a bagel, cream cheese, salmon, and sliced red onion. Other ingredients such as capers, dill, and chives may be added. Bagels originated in Poland in the 16th century. They were a nod to the bublik, another circular bread with a big hole in the middle. Why the world needed two such similar foods is anybody’s guess, but then again, Ding Dongs and Ring Dings have coexisted peacefully for decades, so why not? Polish Jews immigrating to the United States brought along bagels, which is why they’re such a staple in New York City (which still makes the best in the country, in my opinion). Bagels caught on everywhere in the 1960s, when bagel bakers Harry and Murray Lender teamed with Florence Sender (they went on a real bender!) to mass produce and distribute frozen, pre-sliced bagels.
Lox have been around for thousands of years, swimming around contentedly in oceans and rivers.
For our bagels and lox, we headed to New Season’s Market, a local grocery store that advertises the delicacy. They served theirs with cream cheese, lox, red onions, and capers. I have to say, I was blown away, and declared this my favorite food challenge yet. The salty, smoked salmon perfectly contrasted the sweetness of the cream cheese, while the thinly sliced red onion added subtle crunch and the capers, a tart bite. I loved the bagels and lox, and will order this one again soon!
- February 9 – National Bagels & Lox Day (budgetcouponcooking.wordpress.com)