Photo: Max Temkin

Today, the media decided to fixate on Cynthia Nixon’s choice in bagel sandwich fillings, because what better way to marshal your reporting resources than embedding horrified Twitter reactions in a CMS and convincing the public it’s an actual controversy?

Her infraction? At the beloved Upper West Side delicatessen Zabar’s, Nixon—currently in a battle with incumbent New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic gubernatorial primary—ordered lox, cream cheese, and capers on a cinnamon-raisin bagel.

As is the media’s wont, the headlines generated were a mix of hyperbole and exaggerated outrage. Munchies called it “terrible-sounding.” The New York Post cried: “horrifying.” NJ.com said Nixon “committed a crime against the bagel gods.” How much of this reaction is a journalistic bloodsport of reporting on political candidates and their supposed bad taste in food? How much of it is filling the vacuum that is a 24-hour media cycle? How much of it, the more cynical among us might offer, is perhaps a female candidate receives a different level of criticism than her male counterparts?

Here at The Takeout, we only worry about one thing: does it taste good? And our standing rule is we don’t know something until we’ve tried it.

Unfortunately, we did not have time today to assemble a lox-cream cheese-capers sandwich on a cinnamon-raisin bagel ourselves, but our friend Max Temkin—a co-founder of Cards Against Humanity—found time today, and along with five of his office-mates (for the record, all women), taste-tested the Cynthia Nixon Special as a group lunch experiment. Their finding: Quit crapping on Cynthia Nixon. The sandwich tastes fine.

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The Takeout: Well, how was it?

Max Temkin: I would describe it as not as disgusting as I thought. I’m not going to order it again, but it kinda works. You had the brininess of the capers with the lox, and I though it worked with the sweetness of the raisins. It’s not a crazy flavor combination. You find flavors of olives and grapes in Portuguese and Mediterranean food.

(Temkin added on Twitter: “I gotta say, this is not bad. I am voluntarily eating the whole bagel. Definitely not as good as a lox sandwich on sesame. But raisins and baking spices work in lots of savory—and even seafood—dishes...”)

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TO: What did everyone else at the office thought?

MT: It ranged from mildly disgusted to not as disgusting as they anticipated. I think I liked it the most.

TO: Does this particular sandwich have an analog in the culinary world?

MT: It’s like a McGriddle from McDonald’s. I think the McGriddle is an incredible piece of engineering. It always gives me diarrhea, but it tastes really good.

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