by Jonathan Zeller, 06/17/2014
Photo: Tagger Yancey IV
Ess-a-Bagel's discs are known for their gargantuan scope. While its circumference was actually on the smaller side, our sample from the Midtown East location was heavy (it tipped the scales at 148g—with help from a hole that barely existed) and was the densest of the "big" bagels. Our eyeballs tell us it was also tall compared to most of the other bagels. Our previous reporting indicated that these morsels are so large because of a long-ago mistake—the shop's proprietors erred in the refrigeration process, which was supposed to slow their dough's overnight rise. According to late cofounder Florence Wilpon, customers loved the tremendous rounds they received the next morning—so Ess-a-Bagel kept living large.
Weight: 148g (Rank: 2 of 8, tied w/ Terrace Bagels)
Volume: 400ml (5, tied w/ Well-Known National Chain)
Density: .37g/ml (3)
Circumference: 35cm (7)
Hole size: More of a belly button; no light passes through (8)
Sweetener: Malt (previous reliable reports, including ours, have identified it as honey).