What REALLY makes New York bagels the best?
The bakers tell all
Forget apples, "a bagel a day keeps the doctor away" is the motto for most New Yorkers. While bakeries around the world try their hand at creating a bread product similar to that of the famed East Coast specialty, there just really is nothing like a Manhattan bagel—but why?
“It’s 100 percent the water,” Christopher Pugliese, owner of Tompkins Square Bagels, told Culture Trip. “There’s no question about it.”
While the high-quality ingredients, professional ovens, precise boiling techniques, and family recipes definitely don't hurt the process, everyone in New York swears its the water that is the secret ingredient.
The precious water comes initially from the Catskills and runs down through the Central Park Reservoir. The tunnels and waterways are full of nutrient-rich minerals such as copper, iron, and calcium. This supposedly adds to the chewy, doughy texture of NY bagels.
Dianna Daoheung, the executive baker at Black Seed Bagels, even went as far as to say that bagel shops around the world often ship New York water as a way to replicate them. But many argue that you have to be simultaneously taking a bite and yelling at a taxi driver for it to be a real New York bagel experience.
“I like to use the analogy of champagne: You can’t call it champagne if it’s not made in Champagne,” Daoheung told Culture Trip.
There you have it! New York is the bagel capital of the world, and you'll have to fly in to try one—or a dozen. Pass the schmear.