Why do most bagels from the bagel shop have some onion on it?

Free bagels at work have gotten me wondering again about why nearly every bagel I buy at a bagel store has a little onion on it. :dubious:

Have any y’all Dopers worked in a bagel shop? Can you tell me why some flakes seem to end up on most of the bagels?
It would seem that they should control for this by baking them in separate trays or something.

I was thinking that perhaps other ingredients are getting on my bagels, but a poppy seed or speck of blueberry isn’t noticed as much as a small flake of onion.


Deep thinking.

Depending on the company, the onion flakes are bigger, looser, stickier, and more abundant than other toppings, so they’re bound to go AWOL more often.

(Based on my experience with the Posh Bagel Co in San Francisco.)

Those aren’t onions. They’re smushed maggots.

Mmm… protein.

I spent nearly 3 years at a bagel store (Bruegger’s).

From my experience, there are at least 4 possible reasons why you notice this:

-If they’re baking onion bagels in the oven at the same time as the others (the stores I worked in had 6 shelves that rotated in the oven), it’s possible that the smell of onion invades the other bagels (incidentally, everytime I got home from a shift, my stepmother said I smelled like an onion bagels)

-If the staff was not diligent in sweeping the shelf before putting new bagels on, it’s possible that onion flakes from the previous batch of bagels on that shelf got onto the new batch. Though considering ovens are ~400 degrees, any onion bits would probably be charred.

-When I baked bagels, I would often make several kinds at once. The bagels that had toppings (onion, garlic, sesame, poppy, salt, everything, and honey wheat) would have the toppings shaked on after they were boiled and before they were tossed into the oven. Usually I tried to be neat in the sprinkling of toppings, but sometimes there was some spillover.

-When I pulled bagels out of the oven, they went into one of 2 separate baskets. So some onion toppings could get from one type of bagel to another in the transfer process. Or toppings could be stuck to the baskets from a previous batch and get onto the next batch.

Are you sure these places make their own bagels? I used to work in a bakery-type establishment that seemed like the kind of place that would make its own bagels, but they were in fact delivered every morning in a large brown paper bag. Because the different types of bagels were not seperated, the toppings would often get all over the bag and onto the other bagels.