Today's the day to celebrate our favourite food with a hole in the middle -- the bagel, that is.
February 9 marks National Bagel Day, a day where bagel lovers come together and celebrate everything poppy seed and cream cheese related.
St-Viateur Bagel has been operating in Montreal, Que. since 1957. Open 24 hours and making over 1,000 dozen bagels a day, owner and baker Micca Aujla says when it comes to popularity, his costumers know what they want.
"Sesame seed and poppy seed bagels are the most popular here," Aujla says.
Most of us would agree that bagels are paired best with cream cheese and smoked salmon, but be careful you don't eat too many. The sodium from breads and rolls makes up 7.2 per cent of the total daily sodium intake for a 20 to 50-year-old person, according to the recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
One way to avoid this is by becoming the baker yourself, allowing you to control your ingredients. However, making a perfectly round bagel isn't as easy as baking a loaf of bread Aujla says, after working 13 years in the industry himself. See the video below on how to make Montreal-style bagels.
"It's very hard, you have to control the boiling and be careful with mixing the dough," he says.
But if you are brave enough (and have the energy to clean up after), Aujla's best tips include adding a bit of honey to your boiling water and letting bagels cook for 15 minutes.
When you do have time to squeeze in a bagel or two in your day, try these recipes.
PREFECT FOR: Breakfast Talk about a grab-and-go breakfast: this bagel topped with nut butter and banana slices is perfect as a snack for the kids and you.RECIPE: Click here
PREFECT FOR: Lunch These mouthwatering pizza snacks start with toasted mini bagels topped with garlic, olives, green pepper and mozzarella cheese.RECIPE: Click here
PREFECT FOR: Brunch Combine honey mustard sauce and salmon with your favourite bagel for this brunch bite.RECIPE: Click here
PREFECT FOR: Breakfast Make your own flavoured cream cheese by stirring in fresh, in-season cherries. Spread this on your morning bagel or sandwich it between graham crackers for a cherry cheesecake-inspired dessert.RECIPE: Click here
PREFECT FOR: Lunch For a twist on an Italian lunch, try this recipe by combining tomatoes and ham. RECIPE: Click here