Today on the tray: Day-old bagels

July 26 is National Bagelfest Day.

Murray Lender
Murray Lender, CEO of Lender’s Bagels and founder of Bagelfest

According to National Day Calendar, the celebration was started by Murray Lender of Lender’s Bagels, who initiated the festival in 1986 in Mattoon, Illinois, home of the world’s largest bagel factory.

One of the most memorable episodes of Seinfeld involved a strike at a bagel shop. A lot of people remember “The Strike” for introducing the holiday of Festivus, but it’s also the episode where Kramer returns to his job at H&H Bagels after a 12-year strike.

Kramer on strike

In the following clip, Kramer brings Jerry and George a bag of stale, day-old bagels.

KRAMER: Ah, gentlemen.. bagels on the house!

JERRY: How was your first day?

KRAMER: Oh, fantastic! (Jerry and George both pick out a bagel) It felt so good to get my hands back in that dough.

(Jerry and George stop before they take a bite from their bagels)

JERRY: Your hands were in the dough?

KRAMER: No, I didn’t make these bagels. (Jerry and George both take a bite) Yeah, they’re day-olds. The homeless won’t even touch them. (Jerry and George stop eating) Oh, we try to fool them by putting a few fresh ones on top, but they dig.. they, they test.

(George spits his bagel out)

There are worse things than stale bagels. In the closing credits, Kramer drops a wad of chewed gum in the bagel dough:

Happy National Bagelfest Day! May your bagels be fresh and free of gum.


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