At some point when we were in New York there was a conversation and someone was like, “I heard New York has the best bagels because of our tap water,” and I was like, “that’s funny, I thought New York has the best bagels because they were brought here by Jewish immigrants who formed one of the largest and longest-lasting Ashkenazi settlements in the world who have been developing bagels for hundreds of years” and Syrja was like “you are so racist” and I was like “O_O.”
I just can’t even wrap my head around this kind of violence, denying a really long and complicated cultural (and RELIGIOUS) connection that an immigrant group had to this food BECAUSE they were forced to (and able to, due to complicated categories of whitenes) commodify it. No, let’s DENY those communities claim to their culinary history.
This is not the same as a fetishizing argument. I think someone (MMM?) made a post recently about how places like Whole Foods hire Asian-American people to stock the sushi departments to create an exoticized vision of “authenticity” for white people. But that’s different, for a number of reasons. Which isn’t to say that racist authenticity rhetoric is never used, but that has everything to do with a commodification process anyway. White people luv (and abuse) eating ethnic food made by ethnic people, but does that really invalidate any claims people have over their cultural food practices?? I just…if you can’t differentiate between “this food is a cultural practice coming from Jewish communities” and, like, “all Jewish people are born knowing how to bake bagels,” then I…just…can’t help you. Can you imagine if I was like, “hey, do you know why the pierogis are so good in Hamtramck?” and someone was like “probably it’s the tap water.” ??????????
Anyway, does anyone have any good books or articles about Jewish deli/bagel culture on the East coast? I’ve definitely read some for history classes but I can’t remember what they were.
how dare you think that jews eat jewish food!!
Ok but the real question here is, why are there no good bagels in Sarasota, where a zillion New York Jews relocate when they retire?
that’s because new york jews don’t retire to sarasota. jews from the northeast in general retire to the southeast coast of florida. it used to be that they settled in miami, but they’ve since migrated a little further north to boca raton, delray beach, boynton beach, and assorted west palm beach suburbs and bedroom communities.
meanwhile, it’s the WASPS from the midwest that resettle sarasota as god’s own waiting room, hence the sorry oversized rolls with holes that are passed off as “bagels” in the area.
okay wait but there are other really historic large jewish communities in other cities where jewish cuisine has thrived (philly, chicago…blablabla) and supposedly their bagels aren’t as good as new york ‘cause of their tap-water so idgi
i mean i’ve only tried a chicago bagel and never a new york bagel so i don’t even know if there’s any truth to that tap-water shit or if new york’s are even actually better- help me out
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- onegirlrhumba said: regarding books & articles, there isn’t that much out there on jewish deli culture. you may want to take a look at david sax’s “save the deli” (not very scholarly though) & the section on delis in kraemer’s “jewish eating and identity.”
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