This week on Unorthodox, we’re filling up on chametz before Passover starts. We talk to bagel makers from Montreal to Australia (and Cleveland!), get the scoop on the bagel scene in Israel, and find out how bagels became the unofficial food of the Jews.

Our guests span the globe, but have one thing in common: They love bagels. We talk to Ben Pigette, a lieutenant in the Royal Australian Navy who taught himself how to make bagels to impress his Jewish girlfriend. Geoff Hardman, co-founder of the Cleveland Bagel Company, tells us how he and his neighbor Dan Herbst decided to start making bagels despite having zero baking experience—and how their chewy-on-the-inside, crisp-on-the-outside creations are putting Cleveland on the bagel tourism map. Tel Aviv-based Tablet contributor Dana Kessler fills us in on the beigale scene in Israel: American bagels, Romanian bagels, Jerusalem bagels, and more. Vince Morena calls in from the famed St. Viateur Bagel in Montreal to describe (and defend) Montreal-style bagels. He also tells us how his Italian father was hired as a teenager by Myer Lewkowicz, the Holocaust survivor who founded the shop in 1957, and ended up learning Yiddish and taking over the business when Lewkowicz died. Shannon Sarna, editor of The Nosher and author of the forthcoming cookbook Modern Jewish Baker: Challah, Babka, Bagels & More, tells us how bagels came to be such strong cultural markers of Judaism, and the newfangled bagel trend she can’t get on board with.

And a special low-carb treat: Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg, who just published The (Unofficial) Hogwarts Haggadah, explains why Harry Potter is such a good language for teaching his students about Judaism.

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