Don't Get Mad, but I Tried Cynthia Nixon's Bagel Order "Abomination"—& Liked It

September 12, 2018

'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:

So what's the big deal about a bagel, anyways?

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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.

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Top Comment:
“Cinnamon and Raisins don’t belong in a bagel. Sweet roll, pastry even bread but not a bagel. ”
— judith@hudsonvalleycooking

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.

What's weirder? My hand in this photo, or the bagel? Photo by Me

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.

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What do you think of Cynthia Nixon's bagel order? Tell us in the comments below!

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Erin Alexander

Written by: Erin Alexander

Erin Alexander is the Managing Editor of Food52.


Babette's S. September 27, 2018
This combo did not shock me at all. Since the late 1980s I've been making a salmon baked in puff pastry recipe that is based upon a medieval one I picked up from the late great Keith Floyd watching his wonderful cooking show. I created my own version of the recipe, which is: Individual Salmon filets or a whole filet is spritzed with cognac or scotch, sprinkled with salt & pepper, Provence herbs, currants, thin slivers of crystalized ginger, & capers, decoratively wrapped in puff pastry, brushed with an egg wash & baked. I've also been known to sprinkle the salmon with some very fine lemon or orange zest. It is then served with a lovely herbed champagne Dijonaise cream sauce. It's always been a spectacular hit. I made it once as a Thanksgiving fish course at the late British playwright Peter Shaffer's penthouse and he and other guests went crazy over it. I'd made it for some of the guests before & they suggested I make it for Peter. So here is a toast to the wonderful & lovely Cynthia Nixon & her sweet & savory bagel & lox combo. Interestingly, sweet spices like clove, cinnamon & ginger were commonly used with salmon in the middle ages.
Rachel B. September 15, 2018
This has been my favorite way to have a bagel for the last 30 years. Sure, I get some strange looks, but it is sweet, salty and DELICIOUS.
judith@hudsonvalleycooking September 12, 2018
Cinnamon and Raisins don’t belong in a bagel. Sweet roll, pastry even bread but not a bagel.
Negative N. September 12, 2018
Why in the world anyone takes New Yorkers seriously about bagels is beyond me. I've had good bagels in New York. I've also had good bagels elsewhere. This "nothing but ours is worth eating" shaming is bullshit.
lizzaljoelle September 12, 2018
My go to has been cinnamon raisin with egg, cheese, salt and pepper for years and years. I still remember the day I heard someone else order it and thought "Yes. That bagel order is calling my name." I'm voting for Cynthia tomorrow.
Joanna S. September 12, 2018
i hate raw onion, but everything else about this seems chill to me.
HalfPint September 12, 2018
Me too. I find this bagel combo sort of similar to cranberry sauce in turkey sandwiches.
Eric K. September 12, 2018
Or like figs and blue cheese.