Today, bagels are a classic American breakfast food. But less than 100 years ago, most people in the U.S. had never heard of them! Join Joy, co-host Arianna, and special guest Sohla El-Waylly of the Deep Dish podcast to learn how a group of tough, dedicated bakers helped bagels go from nearly unknown to breakfast big shot. Plus, Arianna pays a visit to Asa’s Bakery in Minneapolis and learns how to roll bagels and bialys. And of course, a brand new First Things First!

Featured Experts:

Sohla El-Waylly is a chef, cookbook author and podcast host! Check out her books, recipes and cooking tips on her website.

Asa Diebolt, is a baker and owner of Asa’s Bakery in Minneapolis, MN.

Audio Transcript

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[GAVEL BANGING] JOY DOLO: All rise. The Forever Ago court is now in session. Please welcome the Honorable Judge Arianna.

ARIANNA: [CLEARS THROAT] Thank you. Thank you. You may be seated. Today we hear the case of Dolo versus Bagel. Do you want to tell me your side of the story, Ms. Dolo?

JOY DOLO: Yes, judge. It all started on a cold Monday morning. I was born in a hospital located just beyond the Tennessee River when my--

ARIANNA: No, no, not your life story. Why are you in my courtroom today?

JOY DOLO: Oh. Oh. Sorry. I'm here because that Bagel over there is a fraud.


I ordered an everything bagel with everything on it. But this bagel just had a bunch of seeds, some dried garlic, and salt.

ARIANNA: Those are the toppings on an everything bagel.

JOY DOLO: Oh, yeah? Well, where are the blueberries, or the sardines, or the raindrops, and everything bagels should have everything. I'm talking roller skates, a pterodactyl skeleton--

ARIANNA: Ms Dolo, that's not actually how that--

JOY DOLO: --bonsai trees, lucky rabbit's feet, four leaf clovers, beetlejuice.

ARIANNA: Joy, hold on. What are you talking about? An everything bagel doesn't have everything on it. That's impossible and kind of gross now that I think about it,

JOY DOLO: I throw myself on the mercy of the court. I plead the fifth. Order in the courtroom.

ARIANNA: I think you've watched too many courtroom TV shows.

JOY DOLO: I yield my time.

ARIANNA: OK. Bagel, do you have anything to say?

JOY DOLO: It can't talk. It's a bagel. Come on, now.

ARIANNA: Right, sorry. OK, I'm ready to make my ruling. Bagel, thank you for joining us today. Joy, maybe you should take a nap. I hereby rule that it is impossible and inconceivable to have everything on a bagel.


I mean, think of the size of the oven, the cost to consumers, all the yucky things that could be on there.

JOY DOLO: I did think blueberries were a little too much personally.

ARIANNA: Right? I hereby name bagel the winner of this case.

JOY DOLO: Oh, shucks. Thank you.

[GASPS] The bagel can talk.


Welcome to Forever Ago from APM studios. I'm Joy Dolo. And my co-host today is Arianna from Elk River, Minnesota. Hey, Arianna.


JOY DOLO: Today's episode is all about bagels. Arianna, how do you feel about bagels?

ARIANNA: I absolutely love bagels.

JOY DOLO: Oh, you do? Well, what's your favorite kind of bagel?

ARIANNA: My favorite kind of bagel is just a plain toasted bagel, of course, and plain cream cheese. Can't go wrong.

JOY DOLO: Just plain and plain, huh?

ARIANNA: Plain and plain.

JOY DOLO: You know, I like my stuff plain, too. I've always been, like, a big fan of, like, vanilla ice cream and just kind of sugar cookies, like, the plain stuff.

ARIANNA: Me too. Like, I can't go with all the toppings on top. Just not my kind of scene.

JOY DOLO: I just like to be able to taste the cheese and the bread of it all, you know. I'm going to tell you something. There's a place in town that I used to work at that was a bagel place. So I used to make bagels.

ARIANNA: Really?

JOY DOLO: Yeah. Yeah, I would wake up early in the morning, like 3:00 in the morning, and I'd have to go there. I had to be there at 4:00. And they were already like pre-rolled and everything. They were already frozen. So I used to go there in my sleepy state and bring all the bagels out of the freezer and then boil them and put them in the baker thing or whatever. And they would just kind of rotate, rotate, rotate. And I did that for two hours and like made a whole bunch of bagels before the store opened. And I loved bagels, but I hated that job.

ARIANNA: Oh, no. How did you wake up that early every day?

JOY DOLO: Arianna, let me tell you, it was tough. I like to wake up early, but not that early.

ARIANNA: Yeah. Me, myself and I, I am a night owl all the time.

JOY DOLO: What would your dream bagel look like?

ARIANNA: I think my dream bagel would still be like a toasted, plain one, because seeds can't do them. Uh-uh. Like you with Mayo. And then cream cheese, still plain, and then sprinkles with whipped cream like a Girl Scout cookie.

JOY DOLO: Yeah, like a Girl Scout cookie. I love some sweets. Speaking of sweet things, today we have a sweet topic, bagels. Today we think of bagels as a sort of All-American breakfast food. But less than 100 years ago, most Americans had no idea what they were.

ARIANNA: And because they were a new food in the US, people weren't really sure what to make of them at first.

JOY DOLO: When they were written about in the newspaper, the reporters had to explain to people what they were, since not everyone knew. Here are the real things written in real newspapers about bagels back in the 1940s and 1960s.

SUBJECT: A bagel is a hard, chewy roll with a hole in the center,.

SUBJECT: An unsweetened donut with rigor mortis.

JOY DOLO: Rigor mortis is a word used to describe dead, stiff things.


Truly the rudest description of a bagel. So how did bagels go on a journey from something that needed to be explained to a world famous food that needs no introduction. Here to take us on that journey is the lady of lox, Countess of cream cheese, Brooklyn's bagel baroness, Sohla El-Waylly.



[CLEARS THROAT] Sohla El-Waylly.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: Oh, here. I brought bagels.

JOY DOLO: Hey, Sohla. Ooh, you're eating a bagel to get ready to talk about bagels? Amazing idea. Love it.

ARIANNA: Thanks, Sohla. Whoa, that's got to be the biggest tub of cream cheese I've ever seen.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: I love cream cheese. And when it's on a bagel, you get to call it schmear, which is a very fun word to say. I got the XXL tub because, honestly, are you even making an episode about bagels if you don't end up with cream cheese on your microphone.

JOY DOLO: I have cream cheese in my hair right now, so we're clearly doing it right. Sohla is a chef, cookbook author, and a fellow podcast host. Up top.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: Yes. My husband and I did a podcast called Deep Dish where we explored the stories of some of our favorite foods.

JOY DOLO: You recently did a deep dive on the history of bagels, right?

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: Yes, indeed.

ARIANNA: So where did they come from in the first place?

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: The story of bagels starts in Eastern Europe. Jewish bakers there had been making bagels for hundreds of years, but in their home countries, they faced a lot of anti-Semitism.

ARIANNA: Anti-Semitism is a word for when people hate or discriminate against someone just because they're Jewish.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: Because of this discrimination, many Jewish people in Eastern Europe decided to leave their countries in the late 1800s and moved to new places.

JOY DOLO: Around this time, the telephone had just been invented, and people were storing their food in ice boxes, which is just an earlier form of a refrigerator. And this was also a time when lots of immigrants were coming to New York City.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: Right, including the Jewish bagel bakers from Eastern Europe.

ARIANNA: And when people move, they bring their culture with them, including their recipes.

JOY DOLO: Oh, yeah, we talked about this in the "Fortune Cookies" episode.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: But when Jewish bakers ended up in New York, they ran into a problem. They couldn't afford their own ovens.

JOY DOLO: No ovens, no bagels.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: Because they couldn't start their own bagel businesses, Jewish bakers started working in bakeries run in the basements of apartment buildings. And at first, their working conditions were terrible.

SUBJECT: Oh, It's hotter than a Brooklyn sidewalk in August down here. Look at this. My shirt's totally soaked in sweat.

SUBJECT: Thermometer says 120. Phew. Sorry, got some flour in my throat.

SUBJECT: You'd think the boss could put a window in here.


SUBJECT: He is a rat.

SUBJECT: No, I mean there's a rat. Pass the broom.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: The bakers worked in these tiny, hot, unventilated basements for very little pay. The working conditions were so bad, they even inspired a curse, which roughly translates from Yiddish to "May you lay in the ground and bake bagels."

JOY DOLO: It sounded like this.


ARIANNA: Oi, they.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: Yeah, it was very bad. But thanks to the hard work and organizing of these bagel makers, it wouldn't be for long. See, bagels had gotten pretty popular in New York city. So the bakeries were doing really well. But the bagel makers had a special skill that no one else, not even their bosses, had.

JOY DOLO: Oh, Oh. Let me guess. They can make life size chewing gum sculptures.

ARIANNA: I don't think so. Ooh, they could imitate the calls of six different types of New York City pigeons.

JOY DOLO: Goo goo goo goo, I'm a pigeon. Goo goo goo goo goo goo goo.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: OK, those are really great guesses, but the very special skill bagel makers had was making bagels.

JOY DOLO: Oh, right. That makes sense.

ARIANNA: Yeah, making bagels can be really hard to do. The dough needs to have just the right stretchiness, but still be stiff enough to hold its shape.

JOY DOLO: Then you have to roll the bagels. You need to use just the right amount of dough so that all your bagels are the same size. And you need to roll it tight enough that it doesn't fall apart, but not so tight that you can squish it.

ARIANNA: Next, the bagels are boiled, which is what makes them chewy and shiny.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: Exactly. And then finally, you bake them in a super hot oven. It's a lot of steps, and they each require specific skills. The bagel makers realized they had these skills and their bosses didn't.

SUBJECT: Hey, what if all us bakers got together and just refused to work for all these rats?

SUBJECT: And with these rats, broom.

SUBJECT: We could demand better pay, vacation days.

SUBJECT: Bakeries with windows.

SUBJECT: If all of us stood together, the bosses wouldn't have a choice.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: In the early 1900s, the bakers decided to take action. They formed Local 338, a labor union created by and for bagel makers in New York.

ARIANNA: Oh, I've heard of labor unions. They're basically groups of workers that band together to get better treatment at work.

JOY DOLO: Right. Unions do what's called collective bargaining. Collective means in a group, and bargaining is another word for negotiation.

ARIANNA: So collective bargaining means the union members work together to come up with a list of things they want the boss to agree to, like how much they're paid or how many vacation days they get.

JOY DOLO: Then they meet with the boss to negotiate.

ARIANNA: Sometimes they make compromises. Like maybe workers want three weeks of vacations every year, but their boss only wants to give them one week off, so they compromise and workers get two weeks of vacation time.

JOY DOLO: But if the bosses won't agree to what the workers want, the workers might decide to go on strike. That means they refuse to work until an agreement is reached.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: And the bagel makers went on strike many times. New Yorkers called these strikes Bagel Famines because no one could get their beloved bagels.

SUBJECT: 1, 2, 3, 4, we won't take it any more. 5, 6, 7, 8, bakeries negotiate.

SUBJECT: What do we want?

SUBJECT: Fair pay.

SUBJECT: When do we want it?

SUBJECT: Yesterday.

SUBJECT: What do we want?

SUBJECT: Fair pay.

SUBJECT: When do we want it?

SUBJECT: Yesterday.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: And the union started to get what they wanted, better working conditions and higher pay. And over time, more and more bakers started joining the union. To join the union, you had to be related to an existing union member, and you had to be able to roll at least 832 bagels in an hour.

ARIANNA: That's almost 14 bagels every minute.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: These bagel bakers were super talented and tough as nails when it came to protecting their craft. And so by the 1930, if you wanted to open a bagel shop in New York, you needed to hire bakers from the union.

ARIANNA: But what if someone opened a bakery that didn't hire union bakers?

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: Oh, that was a game you did not want to play.

JOY DOLO: We'll talk all about it in a bit. But first, I know a game you do want to play. It's time for First Things First.


It's the game where we guess the order things came in history. Today's items are three of our favorite circular things with holes in the middle, besides bagels, of course. Those three things are tutus, Cheerios, and hula hoops. OK, Ariana, what do you think came first in history, which came second, and which came most recently?

ARIANNA: Oh gosh, that's hard. I think tutus might have came first, because fabric was like, one of the things that was invented, like, firstly, I think.

JOY DOLO: Yeah, people have had clothes for so long, you know.

ARIANNA: Right. So I think tutus came first. Oh, no, Cheerios or hula hoops?

JOY DOLO: It's tough, right? I think I like the process of like what you're going with. So we have fabric for tutus and then Cheerios is like, what, grain?

ARIANNA: Right. So would it be grain, or hula hoops is-- what is hula hoops made out of?

JOY DOLO: Like plastic, maybe.

ARIANNA: Right. Did plastic come first or did grain come first? Probably grain.

JOY DOLO: I think grain.

ARIANNA: Yeah, one would think grain. So maybe grain came first.

JOY DOLO: All right. So OK, so we have tutus, and then you want to say Cheerios?

ARIANNA: Yeah, let's go Cheerios, and then we'll go hula hoops.

JOY DOLO: OK, so number one, tutus, number two, Cheerios, and number three, hula hoops. Is that your final answer?

ARIANNA: Final answer. Lock it in.

JOY DOLO: [LAUGHS] All right, we'll be back with the answers at the end of the show right after the credits.

ARIANNA: So stick around.


JOY DOLO: We're working on an episode all about our favorite movie snack, popcorn. And we want to hear from you. What do you think will be the snack of the future, gummy broccoli, dehydrated mozzarella sticks, lemon chips? Let us know. Arianna, what do you think will be our go to snack of the future?

ARIANNA: Jumbo Skittles.

JOY DOLO: [LAUGHS] Sign me up for a jumbo Skittle.

ARIANNA: Right? Who wouldn't eat that. It's just like-- Like, it would take you so long to eat, so you could savor the sugar.

JOY DOLO: Yeah, and then the little chewy inside, you can just, like, gnaw on it while you watch movies.

ARIANNA: Exactly.

JOY DOLO: That's so good. Listeners, record yourself describing your snack of the future and send it to us at And while you're there, you can send us episode ideas, drawings, and questions.

ARIANNA: So keep listening.

SUBJECT: Brains On Universe is a family of podcasts for kids and their adults. And since you're a fan of Forever Ago, we know you'll love the other shows in our universe. Come on, let's explore.

COMPUTER: Entering Brains On Universe. So many podcasts. Brains On, Smash Boom Best, Forever Ago. [GASPS] Picking up signal.

SUBJECT: Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba, Brains On.

COMPUTER: Brains On, a science podcast.

JOY DOLO: About 100 bolts of lightning strike the Earth's surface every second.

ARIANNA: But there are all different types of lightning. You can have lightning bolts between clouds, from the ground up to a cloud, even lightning that looks like glowing balls.

COMPUTER: Lightning balls. Zorp, where did the signal go. Must find Brains On pod.

SUBJECT: Search for Brains On wherever you listen to podcasts.


JOY DOLO: Welcome back to Forever Ago. I'm Joy.

ARIANNA: And I'm Arianna.


JOY DOLO: Arianna, can you pass the strawberry cream cheese?

ARIANNA: But you're eating a garlic and onion bagel, with fish eggs?

JOY DOLO: Yeah, I call this little combo the Dolo delight. Mm, fruity and fishy. Num, num, num, num.

ARIANNA: Anyway, today we're learning about the history of a breakfast classic, bagels.

JOY DOLO: And before the break, we learned that bagels came to the United States with Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe.

ARIANNA: At first, baking bagels in the US was a terrible job.

JOY DOLO: The bakers worked in cramped, super hot basements with no ventilation.

ARIANNA: But they banded together to form a labor union and demanded better working conditions from their bosses.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: And things did get better. Let's fast forward to the 1960s.


JOY DOLO: Groovy, the 1960s. Peace, man. A band called The Beatles had just released their first album, and the US was racing to put the first person on the moon.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: By this time, the second generation of bagel union members were running the show, mostly the kids of the original members. And these bakers were making about $150 a week.

ARIANNA: Today that would be almost $1,600.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: That was a lot of money back then. More than many police officers, teachers, or engineers were paid at the time. Union bagel bakers could afford to buy houses and send their kids to college. They also got paid vacation time, good health insurance, and two dozen free bagels every day.

JOY DOLO: Wow, and I thought hosting Forever Ago was a dream job. I mean, it is, but maybe I should negotiate for some free bagels.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: Bagels were getting more popular, and some people wanted to open bagel shops without spending a bunch of money on bakers. They wanted to hire bakers that weren't in the union.

JOY DOLO: If they did this, they could pay those bakers less and not give them all the great benefits the union had negotiated for.

ARIANNA: Uh-oh, that doesn't sound like something the union would like.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: No, definitely not. The union had all kinds of tricks to shut down these non-union shops, like stealing their delivery trucks.





SUBJECT: Hope he didn't need this truck to deliver your bagels, ha, ha.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: They even blew up a few trucks, with no one in them. But one of my favorite tricks is that they would break into the non-union bakery in the middle of the night, and they would add a bunch of yeast to the bagel dough.

ARIANNA: Yeast is what makes bread rise.

JOY DOLO: And normally when you're baking, you just use a teeny, tiny bit.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: But these union bakers would pour in a lot. The bagel dough would puff up so much that it would fill the entire room, and then it would turn rock hard. It would take literally weeks of chiseling to get it off the walls. Then in 1964, a shop called Bagel Boys opened up right in the heart of Brooklyn without negotiating with Local 338, the bagel union.

ARIANNA: Did the union add tons of yeast to their dough and steal their delivery trucks?

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: They actually used another one of their favorite methods, and one that many unions still use today. They picketed.

JOY DOLO: Picketing is when a group stands or marches in front of a business to let potential customers know the business has wronged them in some way.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: And in addition to chanting and handing out flyers that said, Please don't buy, the union bakers came up with a genius strategy.

SUBJECT: Would you like a free bagel from your friends at Local 338?

SUBJECT: Oh, don't mind if I do.

JOY DOLO: Genius.

ARIANNA: Yeah. Why would someone go inside and buy a bagel when they could get a free one out front.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: Exactly. They faced threats, intimidation, and dirty tricks, but Local 338 didn't back down. And eventually, they won. Bagel Boys signed a contract with the union to hire their workers. But while the union was focused on the Bagel Boys, another even more powerful force was gathering steam against them.

ARIANNA: Alien bakers?

JOY DOLO: Zombie bakers?

SUBJECT: Robot bakers?

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: No, well, actually, sort of that last one. In the late 1950s, a California inventor had invented a bagel machine. The bagels from this machine were different from traditional bagels. They didn't have the same famous chew or shiny crust, but they could be made much faster. And a bakery in Connecticut called Lender's Bagels invested heavily in these machines.

JOY DOLO: Oh, I've heard of Lender's. They're one of the bagels you can buy in the grocery store.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: Yep, and by the 1970s, Lender's was the number one bagel producer in the world. More and more local shops started replacing some of their workers with machines. The union just couldn't keep up.

ARIANNA: Bummer for Local 338.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: Yeah, it was pretty much the end of the bagel union, which for decades had been a huge force in New York. By the 1970s, the union was half its original size. They eventually had to merge with another bakers union that represented all kinds of bakers, not just bagel makers.

JOY DOLO: But the invention of the bagel machine is probably what helped bagels become known all over the country and the world.

SOHLA EL-WAYLLY: Right. Lender's also pioneered pre-slicing and freezing bagels, which meant that I could get them growing up in California. But even though bagel making machines are used widely these days, there are still bagel shops all over the world making bagels by hand, and old fashioned bagel makers are still high in demand.

JOY DOLO: Arianna actually got to meet a baker in Minneapolis who started hand rolling his bagels but switched to using a machine when his shop got busier and he needed to make more bagels more quickly.



ASA: Hi. Welcome to the bakery.

ARIANNA: It's so nice to be here.

ASA: Nice to meet you. I'm Asa.

ARIANNA: I'm Arianna.

ASA: I've got some bagel dough here. I'm going to turn it out onto a bench. Yeah, it's really pleasant to touch, isn't it?

ARIANNA: It's so amazingly soft. It's like a cloud.

ASA: We miXED this like a couple hours ago, and so now it's about ready to get divided into smaller pieces and then shaped into a bagel. You roll this out. And then we can cut pieces. Then we can take this and roll it out like this, and then wrap it around your hand, and then roll the two ends together. And there's a slightly lopsided bagel.


You want to try one?

ARIANNA: Sure. So we roll.

ASA: Mm-hmm.

ARIANNA: And then we wrap it around.

ASA: Mm-hmm. Yeah, that looks good.

ARIANNA: It's like a little mountain.


My first ever handmade bagel.

ASA: Awesome.

ARIANNA: I will forever remember this moment.

ASA: I made them when I was a kid, like in middle school once. And I remember, like, spending a weekend day on it, and then being like, well, I'll probably never do that again. That was so much work. And then we ate it in 10 minutes, you know. And yeah, here I am. [LAUGHS] The machine, in my opinion, does a pretty clever job of doing the action that we were just doing.

ARIANNA: Whoa, it's like a conveyor belt.

ASA: Yes, it's got some conveyor belts. It has two separate machines that are connected. And so this one, this whole thing, does the job of cutting the bagels into equal sized pieces. Then it falls onto this belt and it starts spreading, lengthening the dough. And then this belt folds the dough as it travels through and then it rolls the ends together.

ARIANNA: Just like we did around our hands.

ASA: Yep, just like wrapping it around your hand and rolling the ends together.

ARIANNA: Stop. That's so cool.

JOY DOLO: Asa also makes bialys, which have had a different fate than their cousin, the bagel.

ASA: Bialys are another Polish, Jewish bread. They're definitely lighter kind of in between a bagel and an English muffin in the texture on the inside. They didn't kind make the jump onto every grocery store shelf around the country the way bagels did. I think part of why they're less ubiquitous than bagels is that there isn't a machine that makes them start to finish like this.

It's a lot like making a pizza, but a tiny one, where you are stretching it out without deflating the edge so that you get it nice and thin in the middle and inflatable kiddie pool shape around the edge. And then you put the onion in and it gets baked really hot and quick. And so then the outside kind of puffs up and the middle stays thin.

We've had customers come up and be like, I don't have to have my brother FedEx me bialys anymore.

ARIANNA: Thank you. This is awesome.

ASA: Yeah, I'm so pleased that you are enjoying it. [LAUGHS]


JOY DOLO: Bagels were brought to the US with Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe in the late 1800s.

ARIANNA: At first, these immigrant bakers faced terrible working conditions.

JOY DOLO: But they decided to band together to form a union so they could negotiate with their bosses.

ARIANNA: The union completely transformed the jobs of bagel bakers in New York City.

JOY DOLO: They won better pay, great benefits. And vacation time.

ARIANNA: The union eventually collapsed when bagel making machines were invented.

JOY DOLO: These machines helped bagels become popular all over the country. But today, more and more shops are going back to making bagels by hand. This episode was written by--

NICO WISLER: --Nico Gonzalez Wisler.

JOY DOLO: It was produced by--

RUBY GUTHRIE: --Ruby Guthrie--

JOY DOLO: --and--

NICO WISLER: --Nico Gonzalez Wisler.

JOY DOLO: Our editors are--

SHAHLA FARZAN: --Shahla Farzan--

JOY DOLO: --and--

SANDEN TOTTEN: --Sanden Totten.

JOY DOLO: Fact checking by--

KATIE REUTHER: --Katie Reuther.

JOY DOLO: Engineering help from Josh Savageau and Alex Simpson, with sound design by--

RACHEL BRIESE: --Rachel Briese.

JOY DOLO: Original theme music by--

MARC SANCHEZ: --Marc Sanchez.

JOY DOLO: We had additional production help from the rest of the Brains On Universe team.

MOLLY BLOOM: Molly Bloom.


ANNA GOLDFIELD: Anna Goldfield.

LAUREN HUMPERT: Lauren Humpert.

JOSHUA RAY: Joshua Ray.

MARC SANCHEZ: Marc Sanchez.

CHARLOTTE TRAVER: Charlotte Traver.

ANNA WEGGEL: Anna Weggel.

JOY DOLO: --and--

ARON WOLDESLASSIE: Aron Woldeslassie

JOY DOLO: Beth Perlman is our executive producer. And the executives in charge of APM Studios are Chandra Kavati and Joanne Griffith. Special Thanks to Megan Himes, Max Sparber, Asa Diebold, Andres O'Hara, and the rest of the Deep Dish production team.

ARIANNA: And if you want access to ad free episodes and special bonus content, subscribe to our Smarty Pass.

JOY DOLO: OK, Arianna, are you ready to hear the answers for our First Things First?

ARIANNA: No, but yeah.

JOY DOLO: Ah, you're so ready for this. OK, so as a reminder, we're putting these three round items in order of when they were invented. And you said tutus is number one, Cheerios, and then hula hoops. Are you ready to hear the answer, Arianna?

ARIANNA: I am ready, Joy.

JOY DOLO: Guess what, Arianna, you were right. You were completely right.

ARIANNA: No way. Actually?

JOY DOLO: Yeah, actually, you got it all right. You did like a wonderful process of elimination. [LAUGHS]

ARIANNA: I was not expecting that at all. Let's go.

JOY DOLO: So first up was tutus. So tutus made their debut in 1832 in the ballet production of La Sylphide. Before 1832, ballerinas usually wore heavy skirts with hoops in them, which made it hard to move gracefully. But tutus changed all of that. They're made of layers of thin fabric, so they look puffy and big, but are light and easy to move in. That's one of the reasons they're still so popular today. So you were totally on the right track with the fabric idea.

ARIANNA: Wow, I was not expecting that.

JOY DOLO: Yeah, and then next up was Cheerios. Cheerios, or Cheerioats, as they were first known when they were introduced in 1941. Their name was shortened in 1945 to Cheerios. The first special flavor of Cheerios was called cinnamon nut Cheerios, which was introduced in 1976. Wow, so we've gone from the 1800s and now we're like in the mid 1940s, 1945, and then 1976.

ARIANNA: That's a big time gap.

JOY DOLO: Yeah, yeah, but we were also still on the same track with the oats, right? With the grains.

ARIANNA: That's true. I got that from you, though.


JOY DOLO: That's true. Do you like cheerios?

ARIANNA: You know, I'm going to be a little controversial here, but I'm more of a raisin type of girl.

JOY DOLO: That's OK. That's all right.


I will suggest that sometime you get into some Honey Nut Cheerios.

ARIANNA: I'm going to suggest you get into Mayo.

JOY DOLO: All right, touche.


That was a good one. OK, and last but certainly not least, is hula hoops, which were invented in the late 1950s. So the hula hoop was patented in the US in 1963, but they're actually Australian in origin.


JOY DOLO: So they started being produced there in the late 1950s and they were inspired by bamboo hoops that children world around their waist during gym class. Oh, that makes sense, bamboo.

ARIANNA: Oh, that really does make sense. We need an episode about this.

JOY DOLO: That should be an episode, hula hoops.

ARIANNA: It should be an episode.

JOY DOLO: Oh my gosh, that's so great. OK, so the world record for hula hooping is held by Jenny Doan of Chicago who kept one swinging for 100 hours.

ARIANNA: Stop. What?

JOY DOLO: 100 hours. Can you hula hoop?

ARIANNA: Absolutely not.


JOY DOLO: I can keep it up for like a few seconds, but that's pretty much it.

ARIANNA: I can keep it up maybe for like two milliseconds?


JOY DOLO: So which one of those answers were you most surprised by?

ARIANNA: Definitely the-- Well, OK, I was going to say the hula hoops, but the bamboo actually makes sense. The tutus make sense. Cheerios, I would say probably the Cheerios maybe.

JOY DOLO: Yeah, yeah, for some reason like when I first looked at it, I was like, I wonder if Cheerios actually came first, because it's been around for forever. But tutus, there they are.

ARIANNA: And like grain is just like, you know, we need food to survive, so.

JOY DOLO: Yeah, yeah. Congrats on nailing First Things First. Arianna, you did it. Join us next week for a new episode all about movie popcorn.

ARIANNA: Thanks for listening.


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