The Bagel Bagel Company manufactures some of the most popular Israeli snacks. What is interesting is that despite its name, the company does not actually produce standard bagels but rather pretzels – which are called in Hebrew ‘Beigale’. There is a certain lack of clarity among historians whether the two products – bagels and pretzels are related or not. Also there are many theories as to the origin of the pretzel shape – its three circles.

The company was founded by the Bagel family, a Jewish family from Krakow in Poland, which began producing pretzels in the late 19th century. The family name is not the source of the treat but rather the the opposite. Bagel production began several hundred years ago, probably by Jews from Eastern Europe, so this family which manufactured pretzels was named after the product.

The Bagel family immigrated to Israel in 1933 and continued its business with the opening of bakeries in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

In 2000 the Bagel-Bagel company was partly acquired by Unilever, the world’s third-largest company. Today it holds de facto the vast majority of the company shares with the rest of the shares owned by the Bagel family.

The image you saw last week was from the factory in the Barkan Industrial in the Shomron area. This plant was closed after receiving a large grant from the state to open a new factory in Tzfat.

The correct Hebrew word for pretzel is “Shlovit” although nearly no one uses that term.