Cynthia Nixon broke the internet by literally just eating a bagel. On September 9, the 52-year-old "Sex and the City" star, currently a candidate for governor of New York, stopped by the iconic Zabar's in Manhattan, where she ordered an untoasted cinnamon-raisin bagel with plain cream cheese, red onion, capers, tomato, and lox. Gothamist filmed the whole thing and slapped it on YouTube - and then the internet burst into flames.
Less than an hour after Nixon left the deli, she was swarmed by reporters who wanted to know why she ordered such a thing. She calmly responded: "That's my go-to brunch, breakfast, whether I'm out or I'm home. I mean, it's not uncooked oatmeal. But it's pretty delicious. And I say, don't yuck my yum. Don't knock it until you've tried it."
Gothamist tried it and said it was "disgusting" and "pungent." Jezebel tasted it too, and opined that it wasn't that bad, but staffers wouldn't go out of their way to order it. NJ.com boldly asserted that Nixon "committed an unforgiveable crime against the bagel gods," Kellyanne Conway's lawyer-husband George offered the pun "Lox her up?" - and basically everyone and their mother is using the hashtag "#BAGELGATE."
Naturally, The Daily Meal had to sample the sandwich, and guess what? It was good. Most of my colleagues assumed they wouldn't even eat their entire quarter-bagel samples. But after trying a few bites, it was clear that most would happily finish their portion.
With that being said, this bagel variety would never be our first choice for lox; that would be an everything bagel all the way. Huge hat tip to Zabar's, though, because the salmon stole the show. It was the freshest-tasting, most delicious lox I've ever had. Furthermore, every topping was so thinly sliced that each flavor melted together in holy matrimony and lived happily ever after.
The staffer who made the sandwich for me, Devin Earont, has worked at Zabar's for seven years. He was there for Nixon's order, but the 27-year-old says he didn't bat an eye. Other people have requested the same thing long before the actress-turned-activist stepped foot inside the store, though it's rare. But Earont gets it. One of his favorite things to eat growing up was a cinnamon-raisin bagel with plain cream cheese and bacon.
In the days following Nixon's visit, only a handful of patrons have ordered cinnamon-raisin lox - many of whom were journalists. Nonetheless, the order has already made a name for itself.
"I didn't expect it to go this far," Earont told The Daily Meal. "People are coming in and ordering a 'Nixon bagel.'"
Not Ivy Lapides, though. The Upper West Side resident says lox belongs on everything bagels, sesame, or plain. "Definitely not a sweet bagel. No way. I think I'm going to get a little nauseated when I see him put the fish on it."
Fish and sweet breads are a common combination in many places around the world, according to the Twittersphere. @Tweettstr weighed in on the controversy, writing, "Actually cinnamon, raisins, capers, with fish are common flavor profiles in North Africa."
@WendyMarcinkie1 added her two cents, saying, "It's very 'Swedish.' My dad used to eat Verta Limpa, a sweet molasses rye bread with raisins and candied citrus peel, with lox or herring. Not my cup o' tea, but normal for Swedes."
Sweet and salty flavor combos are alive, well, thriving, and here to stay. Have you never ordered chicken and waffles at brunch? Maple-bacon cupcakes at the bakery? Dipped your french fries in a milkshake? Also, why do people care so much about what politicians eat? Some are even calling for candidates to stop eating in public altogether. Let Mayor De Blasio scarf his pizza with a fork and Mitt Romney gobble hot dogs. Don't yuck their yum - who are we to judge? Cue the well-done steak with ketchup.