“When greed for an ever-growing market share causes you to sacrifice your authenticity and compromise core principles, repent and take a stand — or your flavor will disappear into the mealy maw of moderation.” –William Safire, on bagels and America, 1999

While Mr. Safire’s cry for authenticity may feel hackneyed today, it remains relevant, as mass-production still rules the food marketplace. But while gassroots politics and farm-to-table cooking have begun to firmly assert their influence in the popular sphere, one of America’s favorite breakfast items, the bagel, has languished. Billions of bagels are consumed in America each year, but how many of those bagels have been dense, bready imitations? How many Americans know that until the early 1970s, New York bagels were handmade by a union using a staunch, secret recipe?

it’s bagel time has been created as a guide for bagel zealots — who will not settle for mass-produced, frozen and thawed, or poorly proportioned impostors — to find their favorite bread in all parts of New York City at all times of day or night.

We welcome tips, questions, and comments from readers. To get in touch, please write: everything@itsbageltime.com.