BAGELS, LOX and WAR •

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THE HOLE IN THE HEAD vs. THE HOLE IN THE BAGEL

ALBANY NY
The financially distraught State of NY has been enforcing a bizarre tax law which requires delicatessens and food peddlers to impose a tax on sliced bagels. Not, may I mind you, on unsliced bagels.  Thats correct, there is no tax when the bagel is sold whole.  What meshuganas!

Many in NY are calling this the "circumcised bagel law". "If the bagel had  a snip, you get taxed for the tip". Bagel aficionados are up in arms.


HOLLYWOOD JUMPS INTO IT !
"This is war", said Charlie Haschton, who said, "I will never pay tax on my bagel, and if they want my bagel, they'll have to take it from my arthritically cold dead hands".  

So carry a knife or better "The Brooklyn Bagel Slicer", your own favorite Philadelphia cream cheese, regular or "whipped lite" and make it happen outside the store. No slicing tax. Say a short prayer and cut.  Disclaimer: Please be careful, habitual bagel cutting can be dangerous to your waistline and health, with or without cream cheese, not to mention your fingers!


SLICED BAGEL TAXATION
What's the tax on a bagel? It depends how you slice it—or in the case of New York, if you slice it. The extremely brilliant State tax officials, under orders from the anti-bagel league in Albany have begun to enforce “ taxation without representation”  on one of the most crucial dietary creations in the world. 

In New York, the sale of whole bagels isn't subject to sales tax. But the tax does apply to "sliced or prepared bagels (with cream cheese or other toppings)," according to the state Department of Taxation and Finance. And if the bagel is eaten in the store, even if it's never been touched by a knife, it's also taxed.  

Many bagel lovers, were caught off guard, they were not aware of the law.  One New York bagel-store owner, when confronted by the "Bagel Police", the BP found out he was out of compliance with the policy this summer when the state audited his company and threatened to jail him if he didn't come up with the "dough".   He thought they were from BP and had a check for him from the oil spill.


THE INSIDER SOLUTION
The solution is the Brooklyn Bagel Slicer. It fits in a purse, a briefcase, or a bowling ball bag. You bring it to work with you. Lets be honest, more fingers have been lost to bagels than any other types of bread even the feared English Muffin. 

The Brooklyn Bagel Slicer was co-invented by a father and son team, Dr. Dennis S. Moss of Rochester NY, formerly Brooklyn and  Michael D. Moss. Michael currently lives in Brooklyn, NY which claims to be the home of the first Bagels.

The father and son combined their skills of Radiology, Medical Management, Media, Design and Innovation for over twelve years and produced the Brooklyn Bagel Slicer. The idea is now an award winning product garnering national attention, and has won numerous awards. 

The Brooklyn Bagel Slicer is saving fingers and limbs throughout the nation. The Classic Knife™ from Brooklyn Bagel Slicer® allows users to slice bagels and rolls without the worry of cutting yourself on an exposed blade. 

The Brooklyn Bagel Slicer is the ONLY Bagel Slicer that will not schmoosh or crush hot, fresh bagels! Hands down (or up!) Brooklyn Bagel Slicer is the best bagel slicer!  http://ezbagel.com/brooklyn-bagel-slicer-classic-knife.html

So we are going to put the Brooklyn Bagel Slicer to the ultimate test as soon as we have a sample for testing and can find a Sushi Samurai Warrior and see if he can do a better job using a $125.00 Santoku or Sashimi knife made in Seki Japan on a fresh made Brooklyn Bagel. My bet is with the Moss boys.  They use their noodles, they just don’t hang on trees!  Granted, English Muffins and Scones are no easy task either and present other problems like slicing your palm open, bleeding, stitches and worse walking away hungry after eating one. Bagels are more "fur-filling".


APPROVED BY THE NBA 

The device shown gets a five out of five approval rating by the NBA, "the National Bagel Association".  Actual studies of strictly Jewish bagel addicted people, those used to eating two a day, after trying it out, voted six out of four. 

Four Jewish critics can have six opinions.  Noted also was a comment based on the movie, "Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye" who kept saying, "on the other hand", thats because he cut his hand so often he switched and got two more cut. Now we all know what he meant.

The rate is estimated at about eight cents a bagel based on the average cut bagel cost of a dollar, so far the jury is out on a cream cheese tax or worse, they'll go after the LOX!  Oy Gevalt!

A noted bagel chain shop owner added: "the extra charge, filled his customers with boiling rage. It was hotter than Momma's chicken soup".  "They felt we were nickel-and-diming them, charging them to slice a bagel," he said.


NOTED HISTORIAN 

Mr. Gorgan Zola commented, "this is a travesty"! "The bagel is a symbol down through the ages and doesn't deserve this tariff. Whats next, Matzo balls?  How do you tax a matzoh ball? The size of the balls, how much schmaltz was in the soup you used, whether the balls were kneaded longer than others"?  That will need Solomon.

Our bagel is well represented in Jewish History:  Moses had all the Pharaoh's chariot wheels secretly replaced with hand molded Bagel dough replicas. When they hit the Red Sea the bagel dough got wet and soggy and the Egyptians were trapped in the mud. You know the rest of the story.

There's even a statue by Mikel (pronounced Me-kell) De'Angelo, called the Bagel Thrower.  A classic in Greek History, it survived the ages and it went on to become the bagel throw (looks like a disc) in modern Olympics. 

And the inspiration for the bagel came in 1610 from Galileo Goldstone who turned his telescope to the heavens and was astonished to observe a bright star with rings. 

What Galileo had discovered was a strange new world, a planet with rings. He turned to his Jewish housekeeper and said, “ Look at that“.   Two days later, his housekeeper created the bagel, sliced to replicate the two rings, with a Matzoh ball stuffed in the middle. Great Idea but somehow it didn't sell. He canned the ball and used cream cheese. A star was born. Quite the satisfying discovery.

"GIVE ME BAGELS, OR GIVE ME NOTHING"
Was the battle cry of Patrick Horowitz during the revolutionary war and when desperate for ammunition for his cannons, he took stale bagels and loaded them to the muzzle. When fired the bagels flew further than the steel balls inflicting heavy casualties on the British who found out tea is not as good as coffee with a bagel. They suffered horribly from eating non-nutritional "scones".  I use the scones for targets at our skeet range when we run out of clay pigeons. 


IT COULD NOT GET STUPIDER
One source of confusion is that the rule isn't spelled out in the tax code. And while sliced bagels are subject to sales tax, a sliced loaf of bread at a bakery isn't, according to tax officials.

A spokesman for the tax department said the state "will provide additional guidance via our Web site and publications in the near future." Guidance? What guidance? Over slicing, cooking bagels, famous bagel jokes, bagel abuse protection, such as serving with pizza sauce and cheese, or bagels in beef gravy....or are they just getting into something they don't belong in? 


BAGEL TRIVIA

BEGINNERS -  Should stick to sliced bread, more their speed... and butter with salt... and work up to bagel delights,             “ Bagels mit a smear of cream cheese and good LOX “  requires training and should not be attempted by anyone with dentures.

SMOKED SALMON  -  is a blanket term for any salmon: wild, farmed, fillet, steak, cured with hot or cold smoke. Simply means its not raw.  

LOX  - refers to salmon cured in a salt-sugar rub or brine (like gravlax). Nova is cured and then cold-smoked (unlike lox or gravlax). There’s also hot-smoked salmon, which is cured, then fully cooked with heated wood smoke.

TRUE AUTHENTIC LOX - Now, to acknowledge the purists. Real, authentic lox is made from only the belly portion of the salmon. Yup, like pork, the belly of the fish is typically the richest, fattiest and most succulent portion. Cured and smoked, it’s saltier and more " Aromatic” than its milder non-belly counterpart, and if you’re lucky enough to try it on a bagel with cream cheese, it’s hard to go back. 

REAL vs UNREAL -   When you buy lox anywhere other than an old-school appetizing counter, even if it’s clearly labeled “ LOX”  what you’re almost certainly getting is simply smoked salmon. And frankly, that’s fine by us.  Lox vs. Smoked Salmon

REAL LOX - is always made from salmon.  It is very expensive. In this regard, it is different from many other iconic Jewish foods, like gefilte fish and herring, which are made from ingredients that are available and cheap.  While LOX may be delicious, the term is quite confusing — what we now call lox, derived from the German word for salmon (lachs), is in fact smoked salmon. 
The true - true  lox is brined in a salty solution, which cures the fish, but also leaves a strong, salty taste. 

NOVA LOX  -  Today, lox is cured with a light salting and then cold-smoked, which provides the typical “Nova” smoked salmon flavor. The word lox is now used interchangeably with smoked salmon, and the most popular Sunday-morning item in New York City — over 2,500 pounds per week–is not real lox actually, but smoked salmon.
Unfortunately, lox has become an even more complicated issue with current fishing trends. As wild salmon becomes increasingly scarce, the use of salmon farming has increased dramatically. 

Over 80 percent of salmon sold in the United States comes from farms, which raises health and sustainability issues, as documented in this 2003 article in the New York Times, “Farmed Salmon Looking Less Rosy.”

However, it is now easy, while still not cheap, to purchase sustainable, wild-caught salmon at specialty stores, or at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, and Costco.  Though you’ll spend on the fish, you can save money by learning to cure it yourself.


HOMEMADE LOX
The easiest way to make homemade lox is to follow the Scandinavian form of Gravlax, which is cured salmon in a salt-sugar solution. This process skips the smoking step, an unrealistic task for most home cooks unless you have desire to burn your house down.

Follow this recipe and in just a few days you can enjoy delicious lox that you made yourself.  Start the fish Thursday and by lunch on Saturday you will have the perfect showpiece for your friends and then claim the title of  “ LOXMASTER”

1 cup kosher salt
1 1/2 - 2 lbs salmon filet, boneless, with the skin on
1 cup sugar
1/2 bunch dill, stemmed and leaves washed

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse salmon filet and make sure all pin bones are removed. To do this, take small pliers or tweezers and pull the small bones out in the same direction they face. There are pin bones more often in wild salmon than in farmed salmon.  Cut the salmon in half, to make two equal-sized pieces.
  2. Mix the salt and sugar in a bowl. On a plate or in a shallow dish, pile half of the mixture onto each half of the salmon. It will seem like there is extra mixture, but just pile it on. The salmon will absorb the mixture during the curing process. Next, place the dill on top. Sandwich the two pieces of fish together and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
  3. Place the fish into a gallon-sized Ziplock bag and push out all of the air. Now place in a shallow dish, such as a Pyrex baking dish.
  4. Refrigerate, with weights on top, which is crucial. Use another heavy dish, bottles of wine–anything to weigh down the fish.
  5. The lox will take 2-3 days to cure. At the end of each day, drain any liquid that has been extracted from the salmon and flip the salmon over, so that both sides are evenly weighed down. You can begin tasting it after 2 days. When it is cured to the desired taste, remove fish from plastic and rinse well.
  6. To eat, slice thin on a bias, leaving the skin behind. Eat with your favorite cream cheese and bagel, and enjoy.
  7. The cured lox freezes very well. Simply wrap well in plastic and place in a freezer bag to keep.  

ERRATA
Next time, you can change the flavor–make it Mexican with chili powder and limes; Greek with lemon and oregano;  Israeli with Zaatar… the possibilities are limitless!  Zaatar is a mix of herbs available at Amazon, Za’atar as a prepared condiment is generally made with ground dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, or some combination thereof, mixed with toasted sesame seeds, and salt, though other spices such as sumac might also be added. Some commercial varieties also include roasted flour.