Do you like bagels? Real bagels? New York City bagels? Boiled first. Then baked. With a shmear. Plain or onion.
If you gravitate toward blueberry or sundried tomato bagels, this book is not for you. Maria Balinska has written a 200 page history of one of the greatest culinary delights ever introduced. She traces its history, beginning in supposed roots in Eastern Europe and maybe even Italy.
The cover is enough to make you want to go out and buy a dozen.
Maria Balinska, The Bagel: The Surprising History of a Modest Bread. New Haven: Yale UP, 2008. 9780300112290. HC $24.00.