Joanna O'Leary

Joanna Shawn Brigid "Bridey" O'Leary was born in Alexandria, Virginia, grew up in central Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, and now calls Houston, Texas home. She graduated from Harvard University with a degree in English and earned a PhD in Victorian literature from Rice University. Bridey serves as a culinary consultant, food historian, and travel/food critic for media outlets such as Let's Go travel guides, Wine Enthusiast, BlackBook, the Onion, Houston Press, Houstonia, ColinCowie Weddings, and Fit, Strong & Sexy.


Articles by Joanna O'Leary

The Jewish History of Arby’s

The original roast beef sandwich was actually served on a challah-esque bun.

The Family Behind This Trendy Ice Cream Company Escaped the Nazis

The story is quite dramatic, and the ice cream is truly unique.

The Spirited Jewish History of Slivovitz

Why this super strong plum alcohol has such a unique place in Jewish culture.

The History of Hanukkah Donuts

From Sephardic bimuelos to the American Jews behind Dunkin' Donuts.

Why American Jews Eat Brisket on Rosh Hashanah

The rules of brisket are made to be broken.

The Surprising Jewish History of McDonald’s

Many Jews paved the way for this fast-food franchise to become the icon it is today.

The Jewish History of Bazooka Bubble Gum

From a penny candy business to a global cult sensation.

The Jewish History of Macaroons

Everything you need to know about this classic Passover cookie.

Why American Jews Love Stella D’Oro Cookies

Spoiler: the Swiss Fudge cookies resemble shtreimel hats.