Big Apple or Stale Bagel? Test Your Knowledge of New York City Food

Gastropolis: Food and New York City, Annie Hauck-Lawson and Jonathan DeutschHow much of a foodie are you? Test your knowledge of New York City cuisine, both past and present, with a quiz based on the newly published Gastropolis: Food and New York City.

Are you a Big Apple or a Stale Bagel? Take the quiz below to find out!

1. During the early nineteenth century in New York City, one of the most difficult beverages to have was?
a) Drinking water
b) Milk
c) Beer
d) Liquor

2. In the late 1700s, this food was one of the most popular things to eat in the city. It was one of the few foods consumed by both the upper and lower classes, and most establishments sold all you could eat for 6 cents.
a) Apples
b) Gruel
c) Oysters
d) Cranberries

3. What food started in a German immigrant’s restaurant in New York City but today has become a worldwide symbol of American cuisine?
a) Hot dogs
b) Hamburgers
c) Apple pie
d) Corn-dogs

4. Which of the following countries are represented in New York City’s “Chinatowns”?
a) Thailand
b) Pakistan
c) Bangladesh
d) All of the above

5. Which famous New York restaurant was (and remains) the most expensive restaurant ever built?
a) Le Pavillon
b) Atlas
c) The Four Seasons
d) Le Cirque

6. The largest market in New York City, and the world, is located in?
a) Manhattan
b) Brooklyn
c) Queens
d) Bronx

7. The iconic New York drink, the egg cream, was popularized by which immigrant culture?
a) French
b) German
c) Jewish
d) Italian

8. The round shape of a bagel was originally meant to resemble the shape of what?
a) Flattened egg
b) King’s crown
c) Riding stirrup
d) Donut

9. The average size of supermarkets across the nation is 48,000 square feet, but what is the average size in New York City?
a) 4,000 square feet
b) 10,000 square feet
c) 60,000 square feet
d) 100,000 square feet

10. The United States Food Bank estimates that approximately _________________ of New York City’s Residents are at risk of going hungry.
a) 500,000
b) 1 million
c) 1.5 million
d) 2 million

For the answers….

1. (a) Drinking water – Until the middle of the nineteenth century, obtaining clean drinking water was a constant problem. Many scientists did not fully understand the relationship between drinking water, waste disposal, and the outbreak of epidemics until 1832, when the Croton River was dammed to create a water reservoir.

2. (c) Oysters – New York had such a large quantity of oysters that poor families quite often lived on nothing but oysters and bread. Oyster cellars and saloons shot up all over the city, offering as many oysters as you could eat for 6 cents. Although it was often said that if a customer ate too many, the waiter would slip him a bad one.

3. (b) Hamburgers – In 1873, Auguste Ermisch’s restaurant featured an inexpensive “Hamburger steak” that was made by grinding scraps of beef.  Within ten years, it was common practice for street vendors to serve it on a bun, leading to the hamburger sandwich.

4. (d) All of the above – Many residents of “Chinatown” feel that the term is a misleading and inaccurate representation of the culinary offerings of the area. Chinatown also hosts foods from Korea, Singapore, China, India, and Malaysia.

5. (c) The Four Seasons – In 1959 the Four Seasons was considered the most modern, “most New York”, of all restaurants. The cost of building it totaled $4.5 (approximately $30 million in 2005 dollars).

6. (b) Bronx – The Hunt’s Point Market, located in the South Bronx, sells more than $2 billion worth of produce yearly and handles 50-60% of the fruit and vegetables consumed annually in greater New York.

7. (c) Jewish – The traditional egg cream – made from seltzer, chocolate syrup, and milk, was a beverage and treat consumed primarily by Jewish immigrants on the Lower East Side, the Bronx, and Brooklyn during the early twentieth century.

8. (c) Riding stirrup – Bagels originated in Vienna, Austria in 1683.  The bagel was developed by a Jewish baker to show his appreciation for the reigning Polish king.  Bugel, means riding stirrup in German. Horseback riding was the Polish king’s favorite hobby.

9. (a) 4,000 square feet – As a result of the extremely high pricing for rent in New York City, the average size of supermarkets is over 40,000 feet smaller than those found across the country.

10. (d) 2 million – Despite all the recent activity in food assistance programs, the latest figures show that 1.2 million New Yorkers live in “food-insecure” homes and at least 2 million residents are at risk of going hungry.

If you got:

8 – 10: Big Apple!

5 – 7: Fresh Egg Cream

2 – 4: Greasy Pizza

0 – 1: Stale Bagel

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