Cynthia Nixon’s blasphemous bagel order sent shock waves through the internet this week, and it’s easy to see why – a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese, lox, tomatoes, red onions and capers is the stuff of goddamn NYC nightmares. But is she secretly a culinary genius?
Short answer: No, no she is not.
Long answer: I had to find out for myself whether or not these absurd flavor combinations were actually that bad, or whether by some miracle they would work together to create something magical. And so our journey begins.
After I voted this morning, I popped by Bergen Bagels in Clinton Hill. Bergen Bagels is admittedly a far cry from any sort of bagel mecca, but it’s decent, and I knew I could replicate Nixon’s order bada-bing, bada-boom.
I didn’t realize how self-conscious I would feel ordering this monstrosity, you guys. I practically whispered it to the guy behind the counter – you’d think I was stocking up on Preparation H, not a fishy cinnamon raisin bagel. He sort of did a double-take, repeated the order back to me (because again, only a psychopath would order this) and I confirmed that yes, this was the combination of ingredients I was willingly going to put inside of my mouth. His eyes widened a little, but he got to work.
As he handed me the finished product, he said, “What do capers taste like?” (He wasn’t joking.)
I don’t remember how much the total was, but I think we clocked in at between $10 and $11 for the whole shebang. And then I began the long walk in the direction of my own personal hell.
Unwrapped, the bagel does not smell good. You get the cinnamon notes from the bagel, but then there is the overwhelming scent of red onions. My brain said, “Please don’t do this.” I ignored it.
And then came taste time. For starters, it is messy as hell to eat this bagel. The tomatoes, lox and cream cheese forcefully eject themselves upon first bite. You could not eat this bagel in public, but then again, why would you? I am fully certain people would throw you in the gallows and hurl capers and raisins at your head. Best to do it in secrecy, or, better yet – not at all.
The flavors do not complement one another. I thought for a minute that the capers and lox might work well with the sweetness from the bagel, but there is simply too much happening with the addition of the cream cheese and red onions to allow for any sort of happy marriages to occur. To be clear, I like all of these ingredients on their own, or sometimes together in less aggressive combinations, but this was just like I’d invited a bunch of my friends over who’d never met before, and all of them began beating the shit out of each other (due to a mixture of jealousy and ideological differences) until I was finally left with no friends.
(I probably actually have no friends now because I ate this bagel, PS.)
Could Bergen Bagels be to blame? I’m sure you could make an argument there, but I think even the most revered institutions could not save this recipe from being a total disaster.
It is such an unnecessary order, you guys. There are so many different kinds of bagels and cream cheese and toppings that it is completely baffling why anyone who was not hardcore inebriated would ever try to make this a thing. I am an advocate for pineapple on pizza, but this…this is just going too far.
In sum: Please do not order Cynthia Nixon’s bagel. Please do go vote. (I will not tell you who to vote for, but just so we are clear, my disdain for this bagel did not affect my faith in Cynthia Nixon. Good people order bad things.)