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The steam bagel results in a fluffier, softer, less chewy product more akin to a finger roll that happens to be shaped like a bagel.
This production method gives bagels their distinctive taste, chewy texture, and shiny appearance.
According to a 2012 Consumer Reports article, the ideal bagel should have a slightly crispy crust, a distinct "pull" when a piece is separated from the whole by biting or pinching, a chewy inside, and the flavor of bread freshly baked.
The taste may be complemented by additions cooked on the bagel, such as onion, garlic, sesame seeds, or poppy seeds.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, 'bagel' derives from the transliteration of the Yiddish 'beygl', which came from the Middle High German 'böugel' or ring, which itself came from 'bouc' (ring) in Old High German, similar to the Old English bēag "ring" and būgan "to bend, bow".
Similarly, another etymology in the Webster's New World College Dictionary says that the Middle High German form was derived from the Austrian German beugel, a kind of croissant, and was similar to the German bügel, a stirrup or ring.
There are three million bagels exported from the U. annually, and it has a 4%-of-duty classification of Japan in 2000.