About mariabalinska

Maria Balinska is the author of The Bagel: The surprising history of a modest bread. New Jersey-born, she has lived in the UK for over 20 years and works at the BBC where she is the Editor of World Current Affairs Radio.

Back to the Future

By February 6, 2009

Since my book came out I’ve been doing a lot more interviews about bagels than I ever thought possible. One common theme among interviewers and callers (to radio phone-ins) is a lament for the bagels of ‘the good old days’ … Read More

Bagels and Unions

By February 5, 2009

I’m grateful to the bagel for introducing me to American and particularly Jewish American labor history. One British review of my book berated me for ‘devoting an inordinately lengthy section to the history of the New York bakery unions’ struggles’ … Read More

What’s So Funny about Bagels?

By February 4, 2009

Bagels make people smile. I can’t think of another bread that has so many jokes made about it – some of them, according to the bagel bakers I talked with, unrepeatable in print or polite company. In the 1950s Milton … Read More

In Poland, Jews Made Bagels Along with History

By February 3, 2009

Last autumn my department produced for BBC Radio 3 a 45-minute documentary about how Yiddish is being kept alive today in New York City. [The audio isn't up anymore but have a look/listen to the audio slide show.] One of … Read More

London’s Bagel Scene

By February 2, 2009

Maria Balinska, author of The Bagel: The Surprising History of a Modest Bread, is guest blogging as part of Food Week in the Jewcy Book Club. Maria’s book will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about bagels. This … Read More