I photographed this bagel vendor in Krakow, Poland and thought her hanging bagel wreaths scored a 12 on the cute bagel meter. I wanted to ask her for 18 mini schmears to go with it but couldn't find the phrase in my Polish bagel dictionary.
The bajgiel (bagel) was actually invented in Krakow. One account says it was created in the shape of a stirrup to commemorate the victory of Poland’s King Jan Sobieski over the Ottoman Turks in 1683. Another says it was invented earlier in Krakow as a competitor to the obwarzanek, a lean bread of wheat flour designed for Lent. Regardless which account is true, in the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, the bajgiel became a staple of the Polish diet.
Bagels were later brought to the United States by immigrant Jews who settled in New York City. By 1900, the bagel business was thriving with 70 bakeries on the Lower East side. In 1907, the International Beigel Bakers' Union was created, and from then on monopolized bagel production in New York City.