Smoked fish and cinnamon seems like an odd combination, but apparently it's a thing
The New York Times’ weekly lifestyle column, “Sunday Routine,” is a typically staid affair, featuring non-titillating things like exercising, sleeping in, and spending time with family. Every so often, though, something attention-grabbing sneaks into the mix, as when the poet and novelist Eileen Myles told us of how she sets aside time in the evenings for “masturbating and going to 12-step meetings,” as any sensible person would—or, as in this week’s edition, when Jessica Lappin, the president of the Alliance for Downtown New York, described the breakfast she enjoys with her husband and two sons. “I have a whole wheat everything bagel, as does he, and the boys get cinnamon raisin with lox,” Lappin says. “Not just a little bit of lox, either. My kids consume a large amount of lox. And cream cheese, of course.”
While I respect anybody with the stomach to consumer large amounts of lox, I have to ask: Cinnamon raisin with lox? Is that a thing? Cinnamon raisin with cream cheese, certainly, but adding lox to the mix feels like a kind of culinary apostasy that could get you banished from Russ & Daughters or, God forbid, stop the heart of a Jewish grandmother. Perhaps my palate isn’t that adventurous, though, or maybe I’m just too old-fashioned to consider the sweet and salty combination as appealing. I look forward to an entirely savory experience when I indulge in sliced smoked salmon—on an everything bagel, with regular cream cheese, perhaps capers, some onion, and maybe a slice of tomato. (That’s the classic combination, of course.)
But as it turns out, the seemingly unholy axis of cinnamon raisin, cream cheese and lox isn’t that heretical—at least that’s the conclusion I came to after calling up a couple of heavily trafficked bagel shops in Manhattan for a verdict on the matter. According to an employee at Ess-a-Bagel on Third Avenue in Midtown East who picked up the phone this afternoon, the order isn’t all that common, but when customers opt for the combination they will go all out—asking for unusual kinds of cream cheese with strawberries or blueberries, for instance. “In my experience, those combinations are more common around the Asian population, the Japanese and the Koreans,” he added. An employee at Murray’s Bagels on Sixth Avenue in Chelsea who I also called this afternoon confirmed that observation, which, I guess, makes sense.
So, there you have it—anecdotally, at least: cinnamon raisin with cream cheese and lox is a thing. And perhaps the combination isn’t that unholy, after all. But I still think it’s gross.