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Is the bagel relative to the simit


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I was having a look at the old Turkish simit and can't stop wondering because they look so similar So I wonder if Sephardites settlers took and developed a bagel recipe as they were invited by The Krimean khanate to settle in what is today southern Ukraine where the khanate at that time ruled Odessa

But bagel is a German name as much as pretzel so the name throws me off a bit

Any comments?

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According to this site and quite a few others, bagels originated in Poland, and travelled from there further into Eastern Europe.

From that site:

There is some debate amongst historians about the origin of bagels. There are numerous etiologies of the word bagel. In Yiddish, it was beygel, from the Middle High German bouc and Old High German boug, both meaning a ring or bracelet. Another possibly origin is from the German word bügel, for a round loaf of bread. Some historians credit a Viennese baker for creating the bagel to commemorate the victory of Polish King Jan III Sobieski over the Turks in 1683. The bread was formed into the shape of a buegel or stirrup, because the liberated Austrians had clung too the king's stirrups as he rode by.

You can read more at this site about bagels, which includes the following:

The Uighurs of Xinjiang, China enjoy a form of bagel known as girde nan, which is one of several types of nan, the bread eaten in Xinjiang (Allen, March 1996, p. 36-37). It is uncertain if the Uighur version of the bagel was developed independently of Europe or was the actual origin of the bagels that appeared in Central Europe.
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You just seem to be saying almost the same thing as I am saying above

The Uighurs are Turkic peoples and so they are found in Central Asia, Turkey and Russia.

That the Poles have had one of numerous battles with Tatars is nothing new (Krimean Khanate was well established in Crimea) and even Poles and Lithuanians hired Tatars and quite a few Tatars ascended to nobility status to keep The Swedes at bay. Coincidentally the bulk of the Jewish population at that time lived in what was called The Commonwealth of States (Poland, Ukraine,Lithuania (also emcompassed Bielorussia))

Edited by piazzola (log)
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Still, making circles of bread or other dough (like cookies) seems to be something that could just as easily have developed independently. They make bread sticks in many parts of Europe, making them into a circle seems a logical thing to do. Makes 'em easier to carry when you're selling them (they are often carried on a stick).

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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Simit are not boiled before they are baked.

they are dipped in a mixture of pekmez and water before they are dipped in the sesame seeds and baked but that is not the same thing. the pekmez is to give them a hint of sweetness and the water to help keep the sesame seeds stuckk to the dough. taralli (those with fennel seeds) are dipped in very hot water befoere being baked. am not sure why exactly but they are baked until they become as hard as bisuits. i doubt they are related to bagels. my hunch is that there are similarities between baked goods in different countries but not always direct influences. i may be wrong. it would be interesting to look more into it.

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Pekmez is grape juice that has been boiled to a thick syrup. I have seen recipes that say you can substitute with molasses if you cannot find it in a Middle Eastern or Turkish store.

The Ottoman Empire was far reaching in their influence on cooking in all of the countries that made up the empire. With that said, is their any connection to Chinese pasta and Italian pasta? If Chinese pasta is older than Italian pasta, how did the Italians find out about it? The Romans did not go to China that we know of, so maybe they created it on their own and maybe the Eastern Europeans also created bagels on their own and they are just similar to Simit and Kaak.

Edited by Swisskaese (log)
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Pekmez is grape juice that has been boiled to a thick syrup. I have seen recipes that say you can substitute with molasses if you cannot find it in a Middle Eastern or Turkish store.

The Ottoman Empire was far reaching in their influence on cooking in all of the countries that made up the empire. With that said, is their any connection to Chinese pasta and Italian pasta? If Chinese pasta is older than Italian pasta, how did the Italians find out about it? The Romans did not go to China that we know of, so maybe they created it on their own and maybe the Eastern Europeans also created bagels on their own and they are just similar to Simit and Kaak.

How do you know that?

Western history books omit any reference to The Silk road used by caravans crisss crossing Central Asia and moving goods from China to Persia, India to Russia and central Asia then on to Europe. Poland and Lithuania had Tatars rulers(ethnic turks) and so had Ukraine's South besides there was a period where the whole of Russia, Ukraine and Bielorusia was under Turkish/Mongol rule.

Western history books hardly account for this do they?

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I said "that we know of". We don't know and frankly I am just happy that we have bagels, simit, kaak and pasta.

If some Polish baker made his way to the Middle East, had a simit and came back home, experimented and invented the bagel, so much the better.

If some Italian somehow travelled to China, had pasta, came home and said, wow, I want to add that to my wild boar sauce :wink: , then so much the better. Or, maybe some Chinese landed in Rome and had pasta and brought it back to China to go with his soup....

Hey, this was the birth of fusion cooking...

Edited by Swisskaese (log)
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I said "that we know of". We don't know and frankly I am just happy that we have bagels, simit, kaak and pasta.

If some Polish baker made his way to the Middle East, had a simit and came back home, experimented and invented the bagel, so much the better.

If some Italian somehow travelled to China, had pasta, came home and said, wow, I want to add that to my wild boar sauce :wink:  , then so much the better. Or, maybe some Chinese landed in Rome and had pasta and brought it back to China to go with his soup....

Hey, this was the birth of fusion cooking...

you're very funny swisskaese. i tend to think like you but i'm going to ask charles perry. if anyone knows, it would be him.

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Pekmez is grape juice that has been boiled to a thick syrup. I have seen recipes that say you can substitute with molasses if you cannot find it in a Middle Eastern or Turkish store.

The Ottoman Empire was far reaching in their influence on cooking in all of the countries that made up the empire. With that said, is their any connection to Chinese pasta and Italian pasta? If Chinese pasta is older than Italian pasta, how did the Italians find out about it? The Romans did not go to China that we know of, so maybe they created it on their own and maybe the Eastern Europeans also created bagels on their own and they are just similar to Simit and Kaak.

The Western books I read make very clear the importance of the East to European cooking, but just because one group of people discovered a particular process, it does not mean that all people that use this process are derivative of them. There are enough quasi-pasta type products in Europe and the Near-East to propose independent evolution from the Far Eastern noodles.

Dumplings, gruels and pancakes for instance and logically be proposed as the progenitor forms of many 'pasta' type products, whereas it seems that other types of pasta products (e.g. Hard wheat pasta) definately came from the Near-East.

There are many different forms of pasta and there is linguistic evidence that some forms travelled from the Near-East to the Far East, so I think that there is room for it to have occured the other way around as well for some forms, although there is no evidence of this yet (I'm sure that there will be in the future).

My surname is supposedly ultimately derived from a Tartar Turkic word for "Dried Fish", but I don't propose that all dried fish products must have developed from ideas imported from the East.

Regarding the bagel, well I think that it is interesting that there is similarity between this product and the simit, but bread with a hole in the middle is a common thing - it is a convienient way of storing/transporting these breads. Finnish rye breads were made like this and threaded on strings, then hung up for storage for instance. The boiling process makes the bagel interesting, but there are many types of European yeast dumplings that are boiled, so I would suggest this as an possible origin.

Prehaps what happened is that large batches of boiled dumplings were made in one go (this is quite common), what wasn't consumed immediately was baked to help preserve it, the hole was a hand way of threading them for storage. There is a similar 'storage' bread from Southen Italy, which is twice baked. You crush tomato onto the surface to soften it. Maybe some of the progenitor bagels were used in this manner.

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The dough for simit as prepared in the city of Salonika is made in the same manner as a short crust by combining flour, confectioner's sugar, butter, and a bit of baking soda. The moistening liquid is a small amount of water flavored with aniseed.

After tearing off a piece of the dough and shaping it into a circle, the surface is sprinkled with sesame seeds. When all are ready they are baked until golden and sold while still warm.

I used to see the sellers balancing enormous trays of stacked and still warm simit on their heads as they weaved through crowds.

Nowadays, they use little carts and sell sweet drinks slong with the simit.

BTW I am pretty sure bagels are boiled before baking.

Edited by Wolfert (log)

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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The dough for simit as prepared in the city of Salonika is made in the same manner as  a short crust by combining flour, confectioner's sugar, butter, and a bit of baking soda. The moistening liquid is a small amount of water flavored with aniseed.

After tearing off a piece of the dough and shaping it into a circle, the surface is sprinkled with sesame seeds. When all are ready they are baked until golden and sold while still warm.

I used to see the sellers balancing enormous trays of stacked and still warm simit on their  heads as they weaved through crowds.

Nowadays, they use little carts and sell sweet drinks slong with the simit.

BTW I am pretty sure bagels are boiled before baking.

i guess these are koulouria which are the greek, slightly sweet and softer version of simit and actually quite different. bagels are definitely boiled before being baked. in fact, according to charles, they are left to rise in the hot water. i don't remember what egyptian simits are like and how they differ from the turkish or greek version. anyone knows?

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The dough for simit as prepared in the city of Salonika is made in the same manner as  a short crust by combining flour, confectioner's sugar, butter, and a bit of baking soda. The moistening liquid is a small amount of water flavored with aniseed.

After tearing off a piece of the dough and shaping it into a circle, the surface is sprinkled with sesame seeds. When all are ready they are baked until golden and sold while still warm.

I used to see the sellers balancing enormous trays of stacked and still warm simit on their  heads as they weaved through crowds.

Nowadays, they use little carts and sell sweet drinks slong with the simit.

BTW I am pretty sure bagels are boiled before baking.

i guess these are koulouria which are the greek, slightly sweet and softer version of simit and actually quite different. bagels are definitely boiled before being baked. in fact, according to charles, they are left to rise in the hot water. i don't remember what egyptian simits are like and how they differ from the turkish or greek version. anyone knows?

here is an interesting snippet from the olive and the caper by susanna hoffman

"the tradition of baking bread in rings, then stacking them up high upon a stick, goes back at least to sparta. there the poor and orphaned who had no foodto contribute to communal tables were required to bring long reeds to the dining halls as the token for their share. tehy would cut reed batons from teh marshes and with them carry bread rings to the diners."

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BTW I am pretty sure bagels are boiled before baking.

The good ones are boiled first. :wink:

And of course, they're made from a yeast dough. Some are boiled in sweetened water but I believe sugar in the recipe is kept to a minimum

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Actually, in Canada they are often boiled in honey water.

"Best bagels in the world etc"

I'm not sure if the bagels here are boiled in honey water... I don't think they are but I'll have to ask at the bakeries next time I'm in or call to order. I was thinking more along the lines of the Montreal bagel which I believe is boiled in sugared/honeyed water.

If you google Montreal Bagels, you'll find they also think they have the best bagels in the world.

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