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On a bagel tour in New York

Bagels are synonymous to the city's cuisine and forms an intrinsic part of its fast-paced culture

By AFP

LAST PUBLISHED 25.08.2023  |  05:30 PM IST
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The inside of a bagel preparation room is pictured during a Bagel Tour around Midtown Manhattan. Rainbow bagels are pictured here. Balinska points to the 1960s as the period when bagels attained broader popularity beyond the Jewish community. Innovations such as the rotating oven enabled bakers to significantly increase output. That led to the arrival of shops touting 'hot' bagels directly to consumers; before, they were only available wholesale.Central players in the further ‘bagelizing’ of America were the Lender brothers, who successfully mass marketed the frozen bagel -- pre-sliced, of course -- in the 1960s, expanding nationwide by 1977.  ((Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP))
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Xander Johnson (L) of Bagel Tours takes the Messenger family from San Francisco around Midtown Manhattan to sample some on New York's finest bagels. Bagels are as synonymous with New York as pizza and the Statue of Liberty. Although there is no official count of New York's daily bagel production, Sam Silverman, chief executive of the trade group Bagelup, estimates there are about 500 specialty shops across the city's five boroughs. The ring-shaped bread has evolved and been reinvented since its arrival more than a century ago thanks to Polish Jewish immigrants.  ((Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP))
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The inside of a bagel preparation room is pictured during a Bagel Tour around Midtown Manhattan. Rainbow bagels are pictured here. Balinska points to the 1960s as the period when bagels attained broader popularity beyond the Jewish community. Innovations such as the rotating oven enabled bakers to significantly increase output. That led to the arrival of shops touting 'hot' bagels directly to consumers; before, they were only available wholesale.Central players in the further ‘bagelizing’ of America were the Lender brothers, who successfully mass marketed the frozen bagel -- pre-sliced, of course -- in the 1960s, expanding nationwide by 1977.  ((Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP))
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Ashley Dikos, wife of Bo's Bagels owner Andrew Martinez, shows cream cheese and salmon bagels at Bo's Bagels. ((Photo by Yuki IWAMURA / AFP))
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Andrew Martinez, owner of Bo's Bagels, boils bagel dough before his store opens in New York City.  ((Photo by Yuki IWAMURA / AFP))
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Andrew Martinez, owner of Bo's Bagels, points to fresh bagels at his bakery. While there is debate over just when the first bagels appeared in New York, historians agree that the bread originally arrived in the city in the late 19th century. By 1900, the industry had already expanded to 70 bagel shops, although working conditions were 'terrible,' according to Maria Balinksa's book, 'The Bagel: The Surprising History of a Modest Bread.' Balinksa chronicles a triumphant 1909 baker strike that upgraded pay and working conditions, helping to propel the broader labor movement in the early 20th century. Over the years, bakers began coating bagels with toppings including salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion and garlic.At Bo's Bagels, all of these play second fiddle to the ‘everything bagel,’ which includes a smattering of all these toppings. Bo's sells more everything bagels than all of the other types combined, said owner Andrew Martinez. ( (Photo by Yuki IWAMURA / AFP))