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.
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...”)
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.