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|Main ingredients||Bagel, tomato sauce, cheese|
|Cookbook: Pizza bagel Media: Pizza bagel|
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A pizza bagel is a bagel with pizza toppings. The simple tomato sauce and cheese pizza bagel is the most common, though a layer of cream cheese sometimes is used as a base under the tomato sauce and cheese. Toppings are as varied as those for pizza.
A bagel is cut in two. Preferably, the bagel should then be toasted lightly to control absorption of the tomato sauce. Each side is then covered with tomato sauce, cheese, and other toppings. The pizza bagel is then placed through a conveyor toaster or in an oven to melt the cheese and warm the bagel. Due to the risk of fire, pop-up toasters should not be used to cook pizza bagels. The dish is usually served open-faced. A commercial product, Bagel Bites, is sold as platters of smaller frozen pizza bagels with a variety of toppings.
The creation of the pizza bagel is often attributed to the demographic composition of the New York metropolitan area. In the early 20th century, Jewish and Italian immigrants often settled together in areas such as Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan. Today, these groups populate suburban areas such as Long Island and Northern New Jersey.
These immigrants quickly began to sample the culture and cuisines of their new neighbors and began the process of merging the pizza bagel as a token of the Jewish and Italian neighborhoods multicultural nature, with the Italians supplying the pizza elements of the dish on top of the Jewish-made bread, the bagel.
Many have claimed that they created the first pizza bagel throughout the United States. Due to this, there is no definitive answer as to who created the first pizza bagel.
It is commonly accepted that it wasn't until 1974 at a Western Bagel in Woodland Hills, California, that 17 year old store clerk Bruce Treitman created what is now known as the pizza bagel: A flattened bagel with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.(Confirmed by Western Bagel Baking Corp.) Treitman created the cuisine using ingredients from the Italian restaurant adjacent to the bagel shop. The Western Bagel baking company continues to sell his creation to this day. The pizza bagel was modernized in 1994 by The Great Canadian Bagel when Andrew Shopsowitz asked his father to put pizza on a fresh baked sesame seed bagel.
In early 2014, Katz Bagel Bakery in Chelsea, Massachusetts made claim that Harry Katz invented a variation of this pizza bagel in 1970. Unlike traditional pizza bagels, Katz' version is similar to a miniature pizza. Katz uses bagel dough without the hole, topped with cheese and tomato sauce. Katz Bagel Bakery still sells these miniature pizza creations in their store today.
The term "pizza bagel," inspired by the food, has in recent times begun to take on the meaning of an individual who is half ethnically Jewish and half Italian, or a Jew of Italian descent, especially in mixed ethnicity communities on Long Island and South Florida as well as other communities around the country.
- Balinska, Maria. The Bagel: The Surprising History of a Modest Bread. Yale University Press.
- Claire Carusillo, "Pizza Bagels: The Unlikeliest Feud in the East Coast/West Coast Rivalry", Eater, July 14, 2015. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
- Christopher Hughes, "Inside Katz Bagel Bakery, Where You Can Eat Pizza Anytime", Boston Magazine, August 26, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
- Robert Lasson, "Brunch Begins in Chelsea", Boston Globe, March 12, 1972. Retrieved July 15, 2015.