Why Is It So Hard to Get a Great Bagel in California?
San Francisco bakeries have tried and tried again to replicate the chewy, crusty perfection of New York’s specialty. They are still trying.
‘‘The bagel is the [Ashkenazi] madeleine,’’ says Niki Russ Federman, a fourth-generation owner of the New York appetizing store Russ & Daughters on the Lower East Side. ‘‘You bite into it, and you’re reminded of where you came from and who you are.’’