Devour NYC's Jewish Bagel-Baking Tradition

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Thrillist
Editor's Note: This is an episode of Food/Groups, Thrillist's brand-new YouTube series based on the deep, delicious relationships between different communities and the foods & food practices by which they define themselves. Subscribe to Thrillist's YouTube channel and tune in for a brand-new episode every Monday morning at 7am EST.

When it comes to food, New Yorkers like to claim responsibility for EVERYTHING: hot dogs, pizza, steak... whatever. Name a type of food, and someone from New York City will belligerently insist it was invented here. Like bagels, for example. 

Brought to New York shores by waves of Eastern European immigrants around the turn of the 20th century, bagels and bialys quickly became a culinary totem of vibrant Jewish enclaves springing up in Manhattan and Brooklyn. And while bagels weren't invented by New York's Jews (of which there are around 1.5 million today), they remain a doughy, delicious symbol of the community's unique culinary heritage. These days, Americans -- Jew, gentile, whatever -- eat just shy of $1 billion worth of that symbol every year. 

On this episode of Food/Groups, we meet Rayna Greenberg -- aka @OneHungryJew -- at Ess-a-Bagel, a Midtown Manhattan cult classic that’s been slinging certified-kosher bagels since the '70s, to talk about New York's long-running and totally tasty Jewish bagel-baking tradition. 

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Cover image: Flickr/bionicgrrrl