If you, like me, spend hours a day trudging through the trenches of political Twitter, it would have been impossible to avoid the story of the day on Monday, Sep. 10. Namely, on this day, New York gubernatorial candidate, liberal firebrand and Emmy award-winning actress Cynthia Nixon ordered a cinnamon raisin bagel with lox and cream cheese from Zabar’s in Manhattan.
Admittedly, when I first read the bevy of tweets mocking Nixon’s “disgraceful” order, I too snickered at her outlandish choice of breakfast sandwich. After all, I am a nice Jewish boy raised on bagels, lox and cream cheese. I eat this delectable sandwich almost every morning for breakfast (to the dismay of my housemates who lament the powerful aroma of smoked salmon), and I would never dare, at least until a few days ago, to slather cream cheese and lox onto any bagel that wasn’t of the everything, onion, egg or plain variety. I guess I would also settle for the combination on a sesame or poppy seed bagel, but that would be if there were absolutely no other options, and I wouldn’t be thrilled.
But to order lox and cream cheese on a cinnamon raisin bagel is akin to treason in the bagel-loving community. Thus, when I first happened upon the story, I was pleased to see that political Twitter (in this circumstance, mostly smug Jewish journalists in New York) was on my side, taking Nixon to task for her monumental misstep.
After hearing of this story, I could not stop thinking about what a cinnamon raisin bagel with lox and cream cheese would taste like. In her attempt to justify her order, Nixon argued, “That’s my go-to … It’s not uncooked oatmeal but it’s pretty delicious and I say don’t yuck my yum. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it. Sweet and salty, it’s an unbeatable combination.” This defense got me thinking.
Were bagel snobs like myself just ignorant, self-righteous fools too set in our ways to even give the odd salty-yet-sweet combination a chance? I had to find out for myself, so I went out and picked up a bag of cinnamon raisin bagels from Lowe’s (pro tip for people who don’t eat bagels every morning: the only acceptable grocery store bagels are Dave’s Bread. All the others are poor quality and you should generally stick to bagels from proper bagel vendors).
The moment of truth arrived the morning of Wednesday, Sep. 12, 2018. At 9:33 a.m., I bravely toasted a cinnamon-raisin bagel, proceeded to spread an optimal amount of cream cheese onto each side, laid a couple beautiful, pink slices of nova lox onto the cream cheese, and closed the sandwich. I proceeded to take a bite.
I would like to take this moment to apologize to Ms. Nixon on behalf of the entire bagel-lox-cream cheese loving community.
Her preferred combination was mystifying and eye opening. The way the sweetness of the cinnamon and raisins complimented the salty smoked salmon was brilliant.
I am a creature of habit and I do not know that I will replace my normal morning routine that calls for one everything bagel with lox and cream cheese, but I do know that I still have five cinnamon raisin bagels left in the bag. Thus, I am looking forward to luxuriating in Ms. Nixon’s creation for the next few days, and perhaps on special occasions in the future.