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.