A plate of New York City Style Pastrami sandwich from Chompie's

A Brief History on Your Favorite New York City Food Classics

New York City has everything you could ever want, but the most apparent is its selection of food unique to the city. Fortunately, you don’t have to leave Arizona for good quality New York City food. Chompie’s serves the best Big Apple eats in the Valley with a range of favorites, including Jewish specialties, bagels, latkes, Reubens, and so much more. Read our blog post below to learn more about the history of some of New York’s most delicious dishes.

The Delicious History of the New York City Bagel

When European Jewish immigrants began making their way to the United States, they brought many of their traditions and recipes with them. One of those recipes was the bagel.

Gradually, Jewish immigrants began spreading their culture and food in many parts of New York City. By 1900, there were 70 Jewish bakeries across the Lower East Side alone, and seven years later the International Beigel Baker’s Union was formed. Since then the bagel has only become bigger and more synonymous with the city.

While many people believe NYC bagels are unique because of the use of the city’s water, it’s actually all about technique. Many bakers are unwilling to reveal the secrets to their recipe, but one commonly-known aspect of the process involves cold-fermenting the dough.

Cold-fermenting is a process that involves leaving the dough in the fridge for several days before rolling it out into the shape of a bagel. The longer you leave the dough in the fridge, the tangier and crustier it gets.

A New York City Size History on the Reuben Sandwich

Another Jewish-deli favorite dish is the Reuben. This mile-high sandwich is a messy beauty of seasoned corned beef, tangy sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese, and 1000 island or Russian dressing.

Many claim Arnold Reuben, the owner of Reuben’s Restaurant and Deli, invented the sandwich in 1914. Its origins start with an actress coming into the restaurant late one night, starving for a big sandwich. So, Arnold took ham, turkey, Swiss cheese, coleslaw, and Russian dressing and served it on rye bread. It was a hit and he called it the Reuben Special. Since then, the sandwich transformed into what it is today.

However, there’s another story. One that takes place thousands of miles away in Omaha, Nebraska in the 1920s. Bernard Schimmel ran the kitchen at the Blackstone Hotel, which his father owned and operated a weekly poker game. The story goes, one of the poker players, Reuben Kulafofsky, requested a sandwich with corned beef and sauerkraut. Schimmel created his variation of it by draining the kraut, mixing it with 1000 island dressing, then layering it with Swiss and corned beef on dark rye bread. Then, he would finish by grilling it.

Since then the debate has lived on about where Reuben got its start. But, there’s no denying its influence on the New York City food scene.

Look to the Cookie

The black and white cookie is another beloved New York City staple that’s always a treat to eat after any meal. But, there’s more to this cookie than its black and white frosting.

The cookie is believed to have been created by Glaser’s Bake Shop, which was opened in 1902 by Bavarian immigrants in Manhattan. Many others believe the cookie began as “half-moon” cookies that were served at Hemstrought’s Bakery in Utica, New York. While it’s hard to tell where these cookies’ roots lie, each story shares one common element: they come from German food traditions.

Chompie’s is Serving the Best New York City Staples in Arizona

Since 1979, Chompie’s has been the restaurant of choice for Arizonians looking for a New York Style food that serves items like bagels, mile-high sandwiches, salads, colossal Ruebens, and a variety of desserts. We are proud of our long history of service and look forward to creating experiences you won’t forget. Visit one of our locations today and see why we’ve become one of Arizona’s favorite delis to date