The recipe for guang bing, a type of Chinese bagel, hasn’t changed for 500 years. General Qi Jiguang developed the bagel as a military tactic in the 16th century. While fending off Japanese pirates at China’s southern border, soldiers needed food that could be cooked discreetly and on-the-go. Once the bagels were ready, troops could march on with their meal strung around their necks before enemies reached them.

In the video above, Atlas Obscura meets with Lin Xiu, the last guang bing maker in his village of Fuqing, China, to learn how these centuries-old bagels are made.

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