February 9th is National Bagels and Lox Day.
Bagels are boiled then baked. This gives them a chewy inside and crispy outside. Originally, it was believed bagels were created to commemorate the victory of Poland’s King Jan III Sobieski over the Ottoman Turks in 1683. However, bagels are now known to predate that by at least seventy years in Kraków, Poland. Ringed breads have been around even longer.
Lox is a thin fillet of brined salmon. Though often used as a synonym for smoked salmon, traditional lox is never smoked. Nevertheless, smoked salmon is overtaking the salt-cured salmon in most places. People in general are moving away from salted foods.
The pairing of bagels with lox happened in New York delis when barrels of salted salmon traveled via the transcontinental railroad from the Pacific coast in 1869. Eastern European Jewish immigrants gravitated to it. It was a food they were use too, it was inexpensive, and it didn’t break kosher laws. The dish is considered a Jewish American staple.
Traditionally, a poppy or sesame seed bagel is spread with cream cheese, topped with lox, and garnished with tomato, sliced red onion, and capers.
Have a bagel with lox today!