Bedford Author Describes Iconic New York Jewish Food

Bedford author June Hersh presents recipes of timeless Jewish culinary classics and reveals the foods, restaurants and businesses that honor the Jewish immigrant experience in New York City in her new book, Iconic New York Jewish Food: A History and Guide With Recipes, published by Arcadia Publishing, Inc.


A portion of proceeds from book sales benefit the Met Council, a New York City based organization that seeks a dignified solution to hunger.


Cuisine brought to New York by Jewish immigrants more than a century ago has become some of the most iconic foods associated with the Big Apple. No trip to the five boroughs is complete without a hand-sliced pastrami sandwich at a classic delicatessen or a bagel and lox with a schmear of cream cheese from an artisanal bagel maker. 


Hersh tells untold stories such as why Eleanor Roosevelt was intrigued by the knish and how Jewish mobsters plotted in the back rooms of some of Gotham’s most famous restaurants. She explains the intrigue behind the frothy egg cream and creamy cheesecake or how Nathan Handwerker’s hot dog became top dog on Coney Island. 


As a former teacher and businesswoman, she began her food writing career after retiring in 2004. She is the author of Recipes Remembered: A Celebration of Survival (Ruder Finn Press, May 2011), written in association with the Museum of Jewish Heritage; The Kosher Carnivore (St. Martin’s Press, September 2011), a primer on how to cook kosher meat and poultry; and Yoghurt: A Global History (Reakiton Books, March 2021). Hersh served as editor and interviewer for Still Here: Inspiration from Survivors and Liberators of the Holocaust ( June is a contributing writer for Westchester Magazine and various food blogs with a focus on Jewish cooking. Her books are available on her website ( and other online booksellers.