'Twas just days before the New York Democratic Primary, and all through the city both candidates were campaigning, discussing mailers and committees. The ballots were readied for voters to share with whom they might entrust the entire state's care. The issues had been debated, or at least so we thought—until Cynthia Nixon ordered a bagel with lox.
Actress, activist, and, most recently, gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon nearly broke the internet on Monday when her go-to bagel order (for decades, I might add) was revealed in a "candid" video by Gothamist. Her order: a cinnamon raisin bagel with lox, capers, red onion, tomato, and plain cream cheese.
This weird-sounding, sweet and savory combination got the internet very riled up. Twitter, of course, proved fertile ground for a lively debate. Even food critic Mimi Sheraton put in her two cents, arguing that a cinnamon-raisin bagel shouldn't even be allowed to be called a bagel in the first place:
Re: Cynthia Nixon's order at Zabars. Real issue is that if it is made with cinnamon and raisins it should be illegal to call it a bagel . As my late friend, comedian-actor Alan King would have said of her order, "That will grow hair on your tongue."
Well, folks, this is New York City, where bagels are taken very, very, seriously. It's also a place where everyone (including me!) has an opinion about everything. So naturally, I had to give Nixon's bagel "abomination" a shot.
My editor Eric was kind (or crazy) enough to bring one into the office this morning for a taste test, and I wasn't the only one who wanted to see what all the hullabaloo was about.
Photographer Ty Mecham was a fan: "The salmon, capers, and cream cheese are stronger than the cinnamon-raisin," he said. "At the same time, the sweetness of the bagel offsets the punchy ingredients."
Food writer and recipe developer Emma Laperruque was not so kind: "Low-key regret agreeing to try this! I love salty-sweet—and I love capers and raisins together, too—but this didn’t land. Maybe because I would never, ever—like ever—order a cinnamon-raisin bagel. But! Each person is entitled to their signature bagel order. And I respect hers. Just not for me."
As for me? I personally did not hate it. I'm more of an everything-bagel-with-veggie-cream-cheese gal myself, but there's something about the bright and crunchy red onion, sweet raisin, and briny capers combined with the smoky-salty lox that just seems to jive with my taste buds. There was a bite or two that I wasn't totally crazy about (the cinnamon flavor came on just a little too strong), but it wasn't enough for me to banish this bagel to deli purgatory.
And let me just add, I have a feeling that both Cynthia Nixon and Miranda Hobbes (the highly relatable, career-driven character she portrayed on Sex and the City) would want us to focus less on #bagelgate and more on the political issues at stake here.
Erin Alexander is the Associate Editor at Food52, covering pop culture, travel, foods of the internet, and all things #sponsored. Formerly at Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Us Weekly, and Hearst, she currently lives in New York City.