New York media has a new fixation, and it’s not the identity of the anonymous New York Times op-ed writer or Elon Musk smoking weed on camera. The latest incident to capture hearts, minds, and Twitter timelines has it all: politics, an iconic local foodstuff, a B-list celebrity, and a combination of flavors so divisive that it seemingly crosses party lines.
The incident ignited on Sunday when New York governor hopeful Cynthia Nixon — aka the actress who played lawyer Miranda Hobbes on the classic HBO series Sex and the City — stopped by Zabar’s on Manhattan’s Upper West Side for a bagel. Countless other New Yorkers do the same thing every Sunday morning, but Nixon’s unusual order, which was captured on film by Gothamist, has triggered countless raised eyebrows and barfing emojis.
What is Cynthia Nixon’s go-to bagel order?
Apparently it involves a cinnamon-raisin bagel with cream cheese, lox, red onion, tomato, and capers — “a full load,” as she instructed the counter staffer at Zabar’s.
Why is the internet having a field day with Nixon’s bagel order?
A bagel with cream cheese, lox, red onion, tomato, and capers is an iconic NYC foodstuff, like a slice of pizza folded in half or a dirty water hot dog — but Nixon’s wildcard substitution of a cinnamon-raisin bagel is what’s causing people to lose their minds. A plain bagel would be de rigueur, as would another savory variety like sesame or everything, but a sweet bagel seems decidedly out of place. The NY Post declared it “the strangest bagel of all time,” while one Food & Wine staffer proclaimed it “basically criminal” and Twitter users decried it as “a crime against the bagel gods,” “gross,” and “just wrong.”
Is that really such a terrible combo?
Maybe not. While seafood and cinnamon might not be a popular pairing, the salty-sweet contrast of raisins and capers actually makes a lot of sense (the two highly flavorful ingredients are often paired in trendy cauliflower recipes, for instance). Also, we’d be remiss if we failed to point out that the world of bagels has fallen victim to much greater travesties in recent years — most notably, the proliferation of Instagram-thirst-trap rainbow bagels and saccharine-sweet cream cheese flavors like Funfetti and Oreo.
And perhaps the real issue here, as Eater NY argues, is not Nixon’s weird bagel order, but her apparent lack of proper deli ordering etiquette.
Is Bagelgate going to cost Nixon the election?
That’s up to New York voters to decide — and quickly: The primary that will decide who prevails as the state’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate will be held on Thursday. (Nixon’s opponent, incumbent Andrew Cuomo, has yet to make any public statement regarding Bagelgate.)
We should remember that other politicians have survived worse: Donald Trump was once seen eating New York-style pizza with a fork, and yet he somehow remains the leader of the free world.
In the meantime, Nixon’s doing her best to use Bagelgate to her advantage: On Monday she took to Twitter to proudly own her lox-and-cinnamon-raisin combo and even use it as fundraising bait. One lucky campaign donor will get a chance to eat a bagel with the candidate, though thankfully they won’t be forced to partake in the sweet-and-salty Cynthia Nixon Special.
Yes, I like to eat a Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with... lox, capers, red onions, cream cheese, and tomatoes.— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) September 11, 2018
Give a few bucks to help support our campaign in the last days before the primary and enter for a chance to have YOUR favorite bagel with me: https://t.co/Q9Whsj4T6j. pic.twitter.com/pkfjRLNZuT