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Am I the only one with this absurd pet peeve about bagels and cream cheese?

I have had this thing since I was little...it came to mind again because I had bkfst the other day with a woman who consumed the above in the manner which I hate most!!! What is the deal with eating a bagel with cream cheese as a sandwich?? With a giant WEDGE of cream cheese in the middle? I respect anyone who likes that, don't get me wrong. To each his/her own. But I think that is so gross! Cream cheese to me is a condiment. When I order a bagel with cream cheese (or make it myself) I ask for a shmear of it...literally. Like the bagel has a very light coating. No layering. About the thickness of butter on bread. And I must eat the bagel in 4 pieces. Not like a sandwich. I will pull the two halves apart to eat it separately.

I know this may sound weird. It is not an all consuming thing. It's just when I notice other people not eating bagels the way I do it drives me nuts! :-)

What do you think?

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  1. Why can't a bagel be a sandwich?

    As a kid I used to have creamed cheese and date nut bread sandwiches.
    I've made peanut butter and bagel sandwiches too?

    5 Replies
    1. re: monku

      Oh!! ME TOO on the date-nut bread and cream cheese. Also, that brown bread in the cans that is made to go with baked beans? That is SO GOOD with cream cheese on it! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE me some cream cheese. Mmm! Now I'm kinda craving cheesecake. I think I have everything needed to make it in my kitchen, BUT it's 11 at night, so maybe tomorrow. I'll just dream (literally) about it tonight. Also, I think I'll get some of that brown bread tomorrow too.

      1. re: monku

        Date nuts bread and cream cheese is amazing!! I haven't had that in decades literally.

        1. re: kchurchill5

          I haven't seen that delicious date nut bread (in a can) in years. I'll have to do some searching online - now I'm really craving some. With cream cheese, of course. Yum!

            1. re: Catskillgirl

              The food section of my local paper included a recipe for date bread this a.m. Let me know if you would like me to post it in home cooking. Apparently, everyone has dates on the brain! ;)

        2. people who expect me to eat exactly the way they do drive me nuts

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jase

            Me too, but then I have my own demands, like keep your damn mouth shut while you're chewing and don't suck air through your teeth in lieu of a toothpick...

            I guess we all have issues.

          2. I think you should focus on your own plate and let other people eat what they want. Cream cheese is not a condiment, like butter or mustard or mayonnaise. Cream cheese is a cheese. Also, a schmear is not a light coating. It's a thick coating, a quarter inch at least. Says me.

            48 Replies
            1. re: small h

              Is it ok to eat a bagel with cream cheese and lox like a sandwich?

              1. re: monku

                It is required. But you can cut it in half, top to bottom. Ok, I confess to eating open face bagel & lox, but only because I was sampling different kinds of lox and trying not to overcarb.

                1. re: small h

                  "It is required."

                  Completely disagree. I always eat it open faced. Bagel, cream cheese, lox, onion and tomato on top to hold it all down. Never as a sandwich.

                    1. re: valerie

                      valerie, i'm with you. that's *precisely* the way to eat it. eating it as a sandwich makes it too doughy/bready. plus, the open-faced method gives you an excuse to double up on the lox (or in my case, nova) - i use the same amount on each half as most people would put inside a sandwich :)

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Now that's the best point I've read. More fish :) YAY.

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          Agreed, plus in sandwich form the bread hits your tongue first, the texture and taste impact of the salmon is largely lost!
                          But, a toasted breakfast bagel and cream cheese? I'm generally getting that as a convenient breakfast on the run item so to go, in a bag, so it will be a sandwich and I won't pull it apart. At home, yeah, I prefer open-face, again for more cream cheese impact.

                        2. re: valerie

                          I'm with valerie. Except for the tomato, haven't had that on it, but if you ate that like a sandwich it'd squirt out the sides for sure. AND out the middle.

                          1. re: EWSflash

                            you've *never* had it with tomato? you must! it's incomplete without it...plus, the tomato holds everything else in place, and protects your fingers from getting all fishy or onion-y.

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              If you really want to hold everything in place, try a slice of swiss cheese on top. Nothing will slide out, even if your ingredients include slippery stuff like lettuce and onion.

                              1. re: Bob W

                                Swiss cheese? doesn't work with nova, cream cheese, capers, onion & tomato...at least not for my palate! :)

                                1. re: Bob W

                                  Lettuce? Swiss Cheese?

                                  Boychick Bob, vat u doing to zat bagel? Oy.

                                  1. re: jfood

                                    If available, I do sometimes like to slip a few thinly sliced pieces of cucumber in there too. And lettuce, while I don't add it to this dish, I could kind of see.

                                    But swiss cheese? Another vote for no!

                                    1. re: valerie

                                      Cucumber? What a lousy way to ruin a great meal! I HATE cukes :) You probably figured THAT out. Though no street credi, I'm a bagel,lox, creamcheese, capers, red onion gal. Nothing more or less.

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        I'm with you, but cucumbers sounded good for a minute. Though no tomatoes for you? I have stated in other threads that if it were my last meal on earth, it would be the bagel, lox, etc. And the break fast at the end of the Yom Kippur holiday is seriously my favorite meal of the year....with a side of whitefish salad.

                                          1. re: jfood

                                            Except as a fur coat that I can't afford, I don't know what sable is.

                                            BTW, jfood, can you post your onion soup recipe please?

                                            1. re: valerie

                                              Here's my favorite way: Bagel, lox, cream cheese (lots of it or it's not a shmear), tomato (a must), red onion, lettuce, maybe Persian cukes on the side. Absolutely, no cheese! And eat it however you want - half a bagel, in quarters, a sandwich - why should anybody care how you eat it, as long as you enjoy it. Definitely NOT TOASTED If you get a real old-time bagel, such as the Bagel Hole in Brooklyn.

                                        1. re: jfood

                                          You guys sound like my brothers! Yes, heresy to some but at least the swiss is still on the savory side of things.

                                          The swiss cheese works for me because I only use it on bagels that already have at least five layers of ingredients and I need something to hold it all in place. It's so far from the cream cheese that it's in another zip code. 8>D

                                          Also, let me point out that my family was so old school that we had carp on bagels. Not whitefish (I guess that is what others may know as sable, chubs, or -- at least in Baltimore -- revelation (WTF??)), but carp. Oily and delicious. My bagel bona fides are in order!

                                          1. re: Bob W

                                            jfood remembers carp as well.

                                            BTW - Sable is cod and chubs are baby whitefish.

                                            Bona fides accepted.

                                            Now next question:

                                            What are the 5 layers?

                                            1. re: jfood

                                              from the bottom: cream cheese, fish, onion, tomato, lettuce. The onion and lettuce are both "slippery" layers. I would add capers as well if the fish layer is lox but not enough so as to constitute an additional layer.

                                              It must be like Cincinnati chili -- at some point you start to add things that reasonable minds can disagree on.

                                              One of my cousins, a talented artist who is sadly no longer with us, once created a "blueprint" for constructing a bagel sandwich. It looked just like an architect's drawing, except the subject was a bagel instead of a building. It was quite good and everyone who has posted on this thread would probably have enjoyed it.

                                              1. re: Bob W

                                                had everything but the lettuce layer.

                                                and do not get jfood started on Cincinnati chile, blech.

                                                1. re: Bob W

                                                  I have seen that picture! It was great. I don't think I agreed with all the layers but the concept was brilliant!

                                                  1. re: Bob W

                                                    Any idea what company published it? I found this thread by searching for info on a bagel blueprint my folks have. It hung in their office for about 15-20 years, and when they moved their offices 10 years ago they brought home the artwork. Our whole family loves it!

                                                2. re: Bob W

                                                  Swiss cheese is weird. But if you want something really good, replace that swiss cheese with a fried egg. Maybe weird, too, but SO good...

                                                  1. re: Bat Guano

                                                    Wow a reconstructed "LEO, bagel and a schmear"

                                                    1. re: Bat Guano

                                                      Great Gobs!!!!! Wandered into a MickeyD's in Hong Kong years ago and was amazed to get a fried egg on my burger; since then found it's not that weird, and I love goopy friend egg yolk on almost anything. Fried egg on top of cream cheese is, I guess, sortof an Eggs Benedict variant, so...... ENJOY!!!!

                                                      1. re: Bat Guano

                                                        Egg on bagel: Nothing wrong with that in theory, but it's something you could get at McDonald's under the name "Eggel" or something equally hideous so on philosophical grounds I must respectfully decline. 8>D

                                                        1. re: Bob W

                                                          OK, now I have to confess: I go the sandwich route, and with a bagel and the CC, fish, tomato, onion, and then an egg - well, you really come to grips with, so to speak, the soft interior-dense bread issue. So the last couple of times I've replaced the bagel with a nice crusty ciabatta bread, which looks kinda like a bagel without the hole, but is much less dense and more crispy, so you can bite through it without the contents of the sandwich squirting all over the place. Seriously, you have to try it.

                                                      2. re: Bob W

                                                        sable fish not= whitefish

                                                        ... it is also called sable (USA), butterfish (USA/Australia), black cod (UK, Canada), blue cod (UK), bluefish (UK), candlefish (UK), coal cod (UK), and coalfish (Canada),

                                              2. re: small h

                                                Open face is the way. There was a thread about cutting a bagel into THREE slices to facilitate more toppings/less carbs, take your pick.

                                                Thick schmear, red onion, nova, and tomato.

                                                1. re: phantomdoc

                                                  the best way to reduce the carbs & make room for more toppings (and mess-free eating) is to slice the bagel in half, *scoop* out most of the inner dough making sure to leave an intact shell, and toast it. then fill with whatever your heart desires. you can pack A LOT of smoked fish in there!

                                                  1. re: phantomdoc

                                                    LOL yes, I started that thread. When I was a kid, I would slice a bagel into thirds so as to have more surface area on which to spread more cream cheese.

                                                2. re: monku

                                                  I suppose it is ok, but monku, if you eat it like a sandwich, you only get half the pleasure, half the loxand you finish it in half the time! Cut the puppy in half, schmear both sides with cream cheese, add sufficient lox (nova's better, but that part is up to you) to each side, top with onion, tomato, capers as you please and eat it.


                                                  1. re: chicgail

                                                    this is exactly how -- and exactly why -- i like the open-faced style. ha!

                                                  2. re: monku

                                                    I was thinking the same thing! Lox and a slab of cream cheese on an onion bagel... yummy!

                                                  3. re: small h

                                                    As someone who grew up with a Jewish mother, I can tell you that you are 100% wrong about the schmear. It is indeed a light coating of anything on a bagel. To be even more precise, a schmear truly on relates to the light spreading of cream cheese that is topped with onion and lox. No thick coating ever!

                                                    1. re: jhopp217

                                                      As someone who grew up with a Jewish mother and a Jewish father and is herself Jewish, I strongly disagree. But you don't have to take my word for it. I did an image search for "bagel with a schmear." I couldn't find anything that looked like a "light spreading of cream cheese." I found these, though:


                                                      1. re: small h

                                                        Now schmear this: http://www.forward.com/articles/1651/

                                                        p.s. I don't eat bagels as sandwiches typically, but have enjoyed the odd bagel sandwich (cut in half) from Russ and Daughters. I miss that place. Now I live, a lonely Jew, without a decent bagel (or whitefish salad!) in sight.

                                                        1. re: Lizard

                                                          Oy vey iz schmear! I'm walking distance from Russ & Daughters. I'll send your regards.

                                                        2. re: small h

                                                          The whole point is that "a schmear" is a noun. To schmear is a verb meaning to spread. Here is the definition a "schmear"

                                                          1. a dab, as of cream cheese, spread on a roll, bagel, or the like.

                                                          2. a number of related things, ideas, etc., resulting in a unified appearance, attitude, plan, or the like (usually used in the phrase the whole schmear).

                                                          3. a bribe.

                                                          1. re: jhopp217

                                                            <The whole point is that "a schmear" is a noun. >

                                                            Wait, what? As far as I can tell, this discussion is primarily about how much cream cheese constitutes a schmear. What does part of speech have to do with anything?

                                                    2. lovessushi - we of the globbed on cream cheesers find shmearing gross. It becomes opaque and should an interesting conversation ensue the shmear turns into cracked wallpaper paste.

                                                      I want a mouthfull of creamy cheese, nice and creamy with an infinitely crispy, dangerously shardy bagel. I want the bagel to have so much cream cheese that it sticks to the tip of my nose when I nosh in on the bagel... oughly in the same mount as someone may...say... shmear miserly atop their bagel.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                        In my family (in RI, we didn't use the word shmear), I was known for "glomming" cream cheese on my bagel. So much so that I would leave teeth marks in the cream cheese.

                                                        Oh for the days when cholesterol was not an issue.

                                                        Now I eat a bagel two different ways. If I just have cream cheese, I eat it as a sandwich (cut in half). If I have other ingredients, I'll make it open faced with lettuce serving as the top layer.

                                                        1. re: Bob W

                                                          How true. Not just cholesterol, but weight. Oh for the days of a faster metabolism. I now only eat 1/4 of a bagel at a time -- that's 1/4, a bagel cut in half cross-wise and then lengthwise and then only 1 section of the bagel. *That* is equivalent to roughly 1 slice of bread - it may exceed 100 calories. I try to limit the cream cheese to a maximum of about 100 calories -- depending on the type of cream cheese, it could be a T of creamcheese or quite a bit more, although the fatfree varieties can be plastic-tasting. However, even with all these restrictions in place, I get the sense of having had a bagel with cream cheese -- only much more fleetingly...

                                                        2. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                          I hate a smear, you can hardly taste it. I want a nice coating of on my bagel. But honestly, I don't care. If they like it, then why not. I like cream and plain coffee, my friend won't touch coffee my other friend puts so much sugar and cream in it isn't even coffee anymore. No difference. I hate to dine out with the person that is soooo picky it takes them 5 minutes just to order coffee their way and another to order their customized dinner with this on the side that on the side, light on this light on that, none of this and none of that. By then... the dish doesn't even resembled what he or she ordered. Now that ... drives me crazy.

                                                        3. Bagel cut in fours? Why? Did you break your jaw?

                                                          1. I don't really care how anyone else eats theirs. I like a lot of cream cheese on mine (Sal, I hear you about the thin layer that dries out and cracks like paste, yuck!!). But I don't like eating it sandwich style either. If I buy one on the way to work, I open it at my desk and redistribute the cream cheese onto all the pieces.

                                                            1. When I was a small child, I was served a bagel at my friend's house for breakfast. As I would normally do at my house, I loaded the bagel with creamcheese, gobs of it, because the taste of the creamcheese is so good! My friend's mom made so comment that I was using so much creamcheese. I looked at their bagels, they had only lightly painted on the creamcheese. I felt a bit embarrassed, like they must have thought I was a creamcheese hog or something. It never had occurred to me that people would eat a bagel in such a way. I also felt they were cheap and stingy to use such a tiny amount of creamcheese. I still pack it thickly on my bagel to this very day!

                                                              Oh, also my mom used to put creamcheese and jelly sandwiches in my lunchbox!

                                                              7 Replies
                                                              1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                I still love cream cheese & jelly sandwiches! Mmmmmmmm......

                                                                1. re: Catskillgirl

                                                                  How about cream cheese sandwiches on banana bread? That was a lunchbox fave for me.

                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                    Or cream cheese on zucchini bread! Yum! Almost as good as date nut bread.

                                                                    1. re: AmyH

                                                                      Exactly--all in the same family of sweet and tasty breads Nanny used to make (and Mom still does)! ;)

                                                                      1. re: AmyH

                                                                        You are brilliant - I've got a few loaves of zucchini bread sitting in the bakery downstairs from my office. I never thought of putting cream cheese on a slice or two- why in the world have I not been enjoying this for years? Off to make a really good snack now - good thing I skipped lunch. :-)

                                                                        1. re: Catskillgirl

                                                                          Enjoy! I sure wish I had a bakery downstairs from my office! Or maybe I don't. I'm not good at resisting baked goods.

                                                                          1. re: AmyH

                                                                            I used to love toasted cranberry nut bread with cream cheese and sliced apple with sprinkled cinnamon sandwiches.

                                                                2. yes, loads of cream cheese, it should hit your nose as you eat it and the whole thing should be a disgusting but yummy mess. Add tons of smoked salmon (or nova or whatever you call it).
                                                                  You can't beat it.

                                                                  1. You think cream cheese should be a condiment but others find it a main ingredient. Different strokes. No right or wrong just different likes and dislikes. It might drive someone else nuts that you have to eat a bagel in 4 pieces. Life's too short to get nuts over things like this.

                                                                    1. I like it as a sandwich, toasted so the cream cheese really softens then then oozes out when I bit into it. I also like that it squirts up through the centre and I get it on the tip of my nose.

                                                                      I wasn't aware there was any other way to eat it.


                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Davwud

                                                                        Exactly!! Though I also love halves toasted with a glob, tomato, thinly sliced red onion, and sometimes some lemon pepper on top.

                                                                      2. I think this might be a regional thing. I grew up in the midwest and we only had Lender's bagels from the freezer section (my Dad liked them well enough, to him they were better than no bagels at all). He'd slice it in half, toast it, and spread cream cheese on each half, and eat half at a time, not as sandwich. The first time I went home with my husband, who grew up on Long Island, he took me for NY bagels. There was a HUGE wodge of cream cheese between the slices, and it was served sandwich style. It was very surprising, but very good. :) Way too filling for me now.

                                                                        These days I prefer toasted sesame bagels with some peanut butter spread on each half, and eating each half one at a time, but I'll still get it sandwich like. Up here in Vermont, they don't put on anywhere near as much cream cheese as they do on Long Island, but they do serve it sandwich style. I eat it that way when I'm eating them out. :)

                                                                        1. Okay... now an opinion from one who was born and raised in Brooklyn (that gives me some kind of credentials, doesn't it?). When it's just a schmear, the bagel may be eaten open-faced, one half at a time. BUT, when there's lox, onion, maybe even lettuce and tomato, it's eaten as a closed sandwich. There -- case closed! And by the way, a "schmear" is a good, generous layer of cream cheese. It had better be if you're a bagel place in NYC that wants to remain in business.

                                                                          15 Replies
                                                                          1. re: CindyJ

                                                                            Hmmm, now I do the opposite. I'll eat a bagel closed (sandwich style) when it's cream cheese only (and plenty of it, please). On the other hand, when I am adding lox, onion, etc., I like my bagel toasted and open-faced.

                                                                            1. re: CindyJ

                                                                              Case NOT closed. I was also born/raised in Brooklyn, to Jewish parents, and I eat my bagel with cc (with lox or not) the same way every time: open-faced, one half at a time. I do NOT put on a thick layer of cream cheese, just a little dab will do me just fine. If my bagel comes with too much cream cheese, I end up taking most of it off. I think it's overkill to put too much cc on a good bagel. If I order a lunch sandwich, i.e. turkey, then I eat it as a regular lunch sandwich. Never any other time.

                                                                              As my French teacher (JHS 227, Bensonhurst) used to say "chacoun a son gout." To each his own.

                                                                              1. re: rednails

                                                                                Or, more correctly, à chacun son goût. Which is French for "mind your own business" :-)

                                                                                1. re: margshep

                                                                                  I stand "corrected." Junior high French class was 40 years ago.


                                                                                  1. re: rednails

                                                                                    Well, spelling aside, your translation was correct. To each his own (or 'each to his own taste')

                                                                                2. re: rednails

                                                                                  My parents are both Jewish, my dad born and raised in Brooklyn, (my mom hails from Newark, NJ) and we almost always eat our bagels open faced. no matter what's on the bagel. (We tend to be in the camp of not too thick a coating of cream cheese, but not as thin as a butter coating.)

                                                                                  1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                    Not Jewish, and not from NY or NJ, so I have no street cred on this issue whatsoever, but this sums up my bagel eating to a T (tee?). Always open faced, no matter what's on it. And if there's cream cheese, the spread should be not too thick, not too thin.

                                                                                  2. re: rednails

                                                                                    And MY French teacher, Mr. Goodman (Monsieur Bonhomme), at JHS 263 in Brownsville used to say, "Bon appetit!."

                                                                                    1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                      And it must have been MY French teacher, Miss Buckley (RIP) at Mercy High School who taught me a proverb that frequently crosses my mind while eating:
                                                                                      "L'appetit vient en mangeant." Literally en englais, "The appetite comes while eating," but more along the lines of "The more you eat, the more you feel like eating." ;) Happened to me today at lunch! MOO!

                                                                                  3. re: CindyJ

                                                                                    Very funny thread.......primarily because although I have thought this in my head, I've never known anyone to actually verbalize the issue.

                                                                                    Whenever I see someone eating a bagel w/cream cheese as a sandwich, I just assume they don't have NY roots.

                                                                                    I also have my own personal rule (not even my kids follow this one) is that it's a sin to toast a fresh bagel. Warm and soft, fresh from the oven should not be tampered with. Toasting is for day olds or defrosted. But that's just me.

                                                                                    1. re: MSK

                                                                                      You are absolutely correct about the toasting. (Of course, it helps to have a real bagel rather than the bready doughnuts that are often mislabeled as bagels these days).

                                                                                      But the sandwich is not alien to NY, as I certainly witnessed it 40+ years ago.

                                                                                      1. re: MSK

                                                                                        "Toasting is for day olds or defrosted. But that's just me."

                                                                                        Me too. I think it's a shame to toast a perfectly fresh bagel, hot (or not) from the oven.

                                                                                        And while I'm at it, I recall watching my SIL (Jewish, born/raised in Brooklyn), putting a thin layer of cream cheese on her bagel, followed by a bare minimum of lox. That was all she could stand...

                                                                                        Again, to each his/her own.

                                                                                        1. re: rednails

                                                                                          native NYer. have no problems with bagels as a sandwich, and i often like them toastede

                                                                                        2. re: MSK

                                                                                          Jfood agrees. If a bagel needs toasting when fresh, leave.

                                                                                      2. I know where he's coming from to a point. I saw a guy in the booth across from me eating the filling out of tacos with a fork and then breaking up the shell and eating that. I wanted to ask him what the hell did he think he was doing, but it's his food he paid for. Oh well...........

                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                                                                                          I always wonder why those people did not order a tostada. Are they unaware that tostadas exist? How about a taco salad. I get creeped out when I see people make a tiny tear in the center of their burrito and dig out the filling leaving the "shell" basically in tact. I have only seen it a couple times, but each time it stopped me in my tracks (waiter). There was something creepy psycho about it.

                                                                                          Maybe that is how lovessushi feels. I wonder if lovessushi is creeped out by the weird sushi eating habits of people. There are plenty of those.

                                                                                          1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                            I do that all the time if I get a quesadilla or burrito! I kind of slice it open a little bit and eat the filling. I guess I'm kinda creepy :)

                                                                                            1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                              That is not creepy Cheesecake. It is when they poke a little hole in the center and then dig out the filling essentially leaving the burrito intact. It is very disturbing to see... especially if it was a chimichanga which will hold its shape well even when emptied. WHY would anyone order a fried burrito and not eat the reason why you ordered it. THAT is also disturbing.

                                                                                              You are not creepy.

                                                                                              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                Sal, maybe it's the residual exoskeletal element you dislike so much. I've never seen anybody do that, and I'm in Arizona. That does sound creepy.

                                                                                            2. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                              Well, now, there are foods I deconstruct all the time. I have deconstructed deviled eggs. Which is hard boiled eggs on which I've spread some mustard, mayo, pepper, and seasoned salt. Take a bite, add more mustard, etc. take another bite... :) There's loads of foods I have FUN eating like that. :)

                                                                                              1. re: Morganna

                                                                                                haha.. speaking of eggs, my husband goes nuts the way I make omelettes. I make one small one with 3 egg whites and then another small one with 1 whole egg. it drives him nuts that I don't mix all the eggs together

                                                                                                1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                                                  You make two omelets and you eat one and he the other. That is not weird.

                                                                                                  It drives me crazy watching my husband pick cilantro leaves for dinner. he will get every last leaf and will get all stems or semi stems off. It takes him an hour or more.

                                                                                                  My husband cannot stand it when I cut a tomato and scoop out the seed jelly. I cannot stand a mouthful of seed jelly when I have a salad. OUT IT GOES! He also does not like it when I peel grapes with my teeth before eating them.

                                                                                              2. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                I can almost understand it. Sometimes I want all the burrito fillings, but not so much the filling, floury wrapper. AFAIK the only way to get that is to order a plate, which is just way too much food (and twice as much $ as a burrito). And even when I do order a burrito, towards the end, when I am getting full and where the wrapper is all folded over... I dig in with a fork and just eat the filling.

                                                                                            3. Here's the problem with your statement: others may prefer you eat their way. No one is boss. And I'd rather they serve extra cream cheese because those who want less can scrape it off. My daughter seems to use an electron microscope to layer it on as a film. I like more.

                                                                                              1. Great.

                                                                                                Now there are "rules" for bagel eating too?!!

                                                                                                  1. That you need to care less about how other people eat.

                                                                                                    For example, I know a good way to spoil the experience of a fresh bagel is to toast it (toasting is for stale bagels, if one must). But I am not bothered by people who don't follow that old rule.

                                                                                                    1. Has any one ever read "The Bitter Butter Battle" by Dr. Seuss?

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Lenox637

                                                                                                          "The Butter Battle Book... was written in response to the arms buildup and nuclear war threat during the Reagan administration. Published in 1984, Butter Battle shed light on the growing threat of war between Yooks and the Zooks. The threat stems solely from the way Yooks and Zooks choose to eat their bread: butter-side up and butter-side down, respectively. The story ends with a blank page..."


                                                                                                        2. One more thing: Bagels, cream cheese, onion, capers, lox, mustard and dill. Freaking glory.

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                            Agreed, I'd rather have a bagel with too much cream cheese than not enough!

                                                                                                            1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                              Mustard? What kind? Never tried that!

                                                                                                            2. Here is jfood's take:

                                                                                                              A schmear is an open faced bagel with a nice topping of cream cheese. In thickness it should at least 1/8" thick and could go as thick as 1/2-3/4" (equal to the thickness of the sliced bagel. It should be eaten open faced. If you can afford the novey, open faced is preferred so you get more novey at the seating.

                                                                                                              Under NO circumstances would jfood accept a bagel in a restaurant or bagel shop ordered with a schmear and served with a thin coating.

                                                                                                              And cutting a half of a bagel again takes all the fun of biting into an arc. Once you cut the half bagel in half your are eating across.

                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                Under NO circumstances would jfood accept a bagel in a restaurant or bagel shop ordered with a schmear and served with a thin coating.


                                                                                                                Especially when it cost $2.50+.....the price here in Northern New Jersey...

                                                                                                                1. re: fourunder

                                                                                                                  At least you have good bagels in Northern NJ. In FFD County CT, it's pathetic.

                                                                                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                    We bring back two dozen NY bagels when we come to visit. Ate our last two a few weeks ago and not coming there til June. We'll be ready to eat that first one, still warm, pinching off pieces, walking back to the apt. Mmmm.

                                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                      ...and it's even worse in Philly's western 'burbs!

                                                                                                                      1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                                                        When I was a student in Dallas, I once bought out a bagel place the night before returning from vacation. I put them in a corrugated box as checked baggage. I brought 50 of them to class the next day to share with the underprivileged professional students who had never had them, and froze the rest.

                                                                                                                        1. re: phantomdoc

                                                                                                                          What a generous person you are/were! We bring home 2-3 dozen from NYC to CA, wrap each in plastic wrap, then into big zipping bags and into the freezer. And try to avoid sharing with ANYONE. We're 2+ months away from our next trip and out of bagels. So reading this thread is just getting me all in the mood.

                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                            Thanks for the compliment. I must admit that i was waiting for the 5 P.M. discount of all bagels $.25. The person behind me was quite frustrated. I didn't say, like a bank robber "Hand over all the bagels", but , I was selecting all of the type I wanted.

                                                                                                                            Still, those students, in the words of the schools founder "Dallas is where the east peters out and Fort Worth is where the west begins" did get experience the real New York, (in this case Bayside Queens) deal.

                                                                                                                2. it helps not to look around while eating in public. seriously, I don't want to see a LOT of the things I've seen- but some eating habits are interesting... remember George Costanza eating the candy bar with a fork and knife?

                                                                                                                  Anyway- don't watch me with a bagel. I like it to stagger a little under the cream cheese. I don't eat it like a sandwich, although I remember a small deli near where I used to work back in the 80's that would slice her bagel into 3rds-toast each layer and use it to make a turkey club- that was my favorite thing at the time.

                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                                                                                    Speaking of people watching other people eat: when I was working in food service, I remember a cook drinking a 2-cup pyrex pitcher of melted butter after the grill had been shut down for the evening. She said it helped her skin tone, and it would have to have been discarded otherwise - waste not, want not.

                                                                                                                    Compared to that, eating a thick schmear on a bagel is nothing.I don't always want a thick schmear - usually, I only want it when I am taking it on the road to start a long drive. Mmm good.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                      Karl, I'm glad I finished my breakfast before reading that, although I was sipping coffee and immediately tasted butter, hahaha.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                        Gweneth Paltrow seems to do something along the same lines - she sucks down olive or mineral oil or something. ICK. It was not for her skin though, I think it was to evacuate her bowels. Sigh.. Double ick and maybe a small but mighty snicker.

                                                                                                                        hmmm... Snickers.... Nothing can ruin my love for those. Not even the image of Gweneth clearing her wretched bowels.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                          Maybe that's why her website is called "GOOP." Oh no.

                                                                                                                    2. As a (recovering) Catholic who grew up in Atlanta and now lives in Northern California, I have NO credentials. But I cut my toasted bagel into many small wedges. I have little piles of lox, cream cheese, red onions, capers and little wedges of lemon. These are put on the bagel in the following order: first the cream cheese (just a little bit) which is mainly there to hold the little bits of onion and capers on the bagel, then the lox on top with a droplet of lemon juice. Then the whole thing (about the size of a small cracker) is popped into the mouth. For me it's kinda like eating caviar and drinking a proper martini; some of it is the ritual :)

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                        Oh Mom. Your process is a bagel baptism. This would never fly in the Catskills. :-))

                                                                                                                      2. I never got the people that only want a wee little bit of cream cheese on their bagel!

                                                                                                                        1. I prefer my cream cheese to be applied liberally to the bagel. A good quarter inch thick, or so. I prefer them open faced, but if i am presented with one that is already closed, and I have no knife to redistribute the cream cheese, I will eat it sandwhich style.

                                                                                                                          My favorite road trip indulgence is to order an everything bagel with extra herb and garlic cream cheese for breakfast from Tim Hortons. I'm usually so full after about half the bagel, that I can't eat the rest until an hour later or so, but I'd rather do that than have a little scraping of cream cheese on it.

                                                                                                                          I miss the great Canadian Bagel. There aren't very many left ariound here, but they did have some fantastic options, and they were very libral with their cream cheese application.

                                                                                                                          I think I need to go back to NYC. Mmmmm, bagels.

                                                                                                                          1. I grew up with big schmears of cream cheese on bagels and bialys that were already toasted and buttered but cannot stand that gooey greasy stuff anymore. It is an artery clogger. I do make an exception once a month or so for the new no-fat and lo-fat cream cheeses. Philadelphia brand. Much healthier and have that cream cheese taste. Add some lox shreds and delicious! With some tomato and onion slice on the side

                                                                                                                            1. Why have a bagel with cream cheese if you are going to have so little of it?

                                                                                                                              And it is not a condiment.

                                                                                                                              1. I think that the way other people choose to eat their bagels is shouldn't concern you. If you think a bagel sandwich is bad, today I observed a woman in a nice restaurant cutting her food with a knife and fork, then using her KNIFE to transport the food to her mouth. Now THAT"S bad. Bagel sandwiches pale in comparison.

                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                  My grandfather used to kid that he liked to mix honey with his peas so they wouldn't roll off the knife. Miss the old bugger. :-(

                                                                                                                                  1. re: margshep

                                                                                                                                    Whoa! Where was the old darlin' from? I bet he was Irish (as my kin were).

                                                                                                                                    1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                      Naw...he was a heathen (aka Scot). Played the damned bagpipes too. :-)

                                                                                                                                    2. re: margshep

                                                                                                                                      ogden nash:
                                                                                                                                      i eat my peas with honey
                                                                                                                                      done it all my life
                                                                                                                                      makes taste kinda funny
                                                                                                                                      but it keeps them on my knife

                                                                                                                                  2. I grew up on Long Island, but haven't lived there in 35 yrs. I'd say 1/8"-1/4" thickness of cream cheese was typical, although I used less. Always, always eaten open-faced, whether or not there were other toppings. There was good reason for this - the bagels were small but dense and extremely chewy - any soft fillings sandwiched between the two halves would have squirted out like toothpaste when the consumer bit down. Biting through a half required considerable force - an intact bagel could defeat many a mouth. A person who'd just eaten both halves of a proper bagel had a sore jaw accompanying that blissful smile! The proprietor of the local bagel bakery maintained, only half in jest, that a good bagel had fewer calories than were expended in the exertion of eating it.

                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                      Unfortunately, most of the bagels I encounter these days are billowy pillows, not the dense, chewy icons of classic NYC bagels. Actually quite bad, no matter how much (or little) cream cheese you put on them.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                        Where do you live? We live in NoCal so bring bagels back (by the two dozen) when we visit NYC. I was surprised recently when Costco was sampling theirs; they weren't bad at all. Not to the manor born, but not bad. Plenty of chew. When we bring them from NY, I wrap each in plastic wrap and then put in a zipping bag and freeze. I MIGHT consider the Costco ones as we're out of bagels and it's still three months til NY-time :(

                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                          I live in Bloomington, IN, where the bagels are uniformly miserable, even though we have several places that make them. They are too big. Too doughy. Too bad.

                                                                                                                                    2. Don't watch me, then. I'll have my poppy seed bagel toasted twice until it's crunchy (not burnt, though...but almost) and lay on the plain cream cheese. Love the contrasts.

                                                                                                                                      Of course, I do eat it pulled apart, not like a closed sandwich.

                                                                                                                                      1. I think the brick of cream cheese is a regional thing. East coast, mostly. I always laugh when I see it because it looks like enough for my whole family. As a not-east-coast gal, I guess I just don't get it.

                                                                                                                                        What do you think. If you favor a "wedge" of cream cheese on your lox and bagel, where are you from?

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                          I'm an east coast born and raised jewish girl (although I will admit to having very untraditional and non-religious, non-practicing jewish parents) and the "brick o' cheese" makes me sick. If I get a bagel like that out somewhere I always have to scrape most of it off.

                                                                                                                                        2. Personally, I prefer my bagels with butter and orange marmelade. No one is going to want to eat with me :-)

                                                                                                                                          If I do have a shmear, and that's if and only if butter is not available (what's with the coffee places - usually at airports - that sell muffins and bagels and have no butter???) then it is thinly spread.

                                                                                                                                          But to each her own.

                                                                                                                                          This thread HAS been very useful; it has reminded me of how my mother used to get brown bread, the kind you use to push out of a can, and how much I loved that (with either cream cheese OR butter). Do they still make that?

                                                                                                                                          23 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: janetofreno

                                                                                                                                              In college in LA, I took to eating blueberry bagels. My Paterson-born dad was horrified.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                  When one of the Brothers W. wants to bust another brother's chops, he will often say, when told that the second brother just had a bagel, "Ok, let me guess, you had the blueberry bagel with the honey nut cream cheese."

                                                                                                                                                  Raisin bagels are an acceptable part of the traditional bagel canon. That's it for bagels and fruit. 8>D

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, me too, now.

                                                                                                                                                    Although now that I live in Denver I have to confess I'm not averse to the occasional green-chile bagel. Oof.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: tatamagouche


                                                                                                                                                    Plain. Egg. Onion. Poppy. Sesame. Salt. Rye. Pumpernickel. Egg Everything. Bialy. Pletzel.

                                                                                                                                                    Nothing sweet or fruity, please....

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                                                      Count me in the "no fruity or sweet" bagel camp too. Grosses me out to even think about it.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                                                      I have had countless customers (who should know better) request blueberry bagels. No no no no no. I've also had requests for asiago cheese bagels. Again the answer is no no no no no. Some things are just against nature. We are a Jewish bakery. NO BLUEBERRY BAGELS ALLOWED.

                                                                                                                                                      Although I do occasionally enjoy a cinnamon-raisin bagel with a ton of cream cheese. Toasted is even better. Guilty pleasures....

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Catskillgirl

                                                                                                                                                        I lived with someone who had a nasty habit of ordering a cinnamon-raisin bagel with VEGGIE cream cheese. Now that is against both nature and good taste...and the thought of it made me kinda sick. I mean, c'mon, what next? Bacon and chocolate (nope, I eat that)...Cap'n Crunch coating on chicken (nope, I eat that)...maybe I should just shut my mouth. HA HA!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                          Your first instinct was correct; that is pretty gross. I remember going to a gathering to which an otherwise very smart guy brought cinnamon-raisin bagels and scallion cream cheese. I thought to myself, "Now there is someone who has not eaten too many bagels in his lifetime."

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                                            LOL and thank you for your support!

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                            Sorry to drag up old post Katty but chocolate covered bacon has shown up on many food tv shows recently. State fairs and the like.

                                                                                                                                                          3. re: Catskillgirl

                                                                                                                                                            Thank U C.

                                                                                                                                                            What you are describing is a boiled blueberry donut, not a bagel.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                              Ah, my child, that made me blow cocktail out of my nose! Didn't feel so great but worth it.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Catskillgirl

                                                                                                                                                                Oh, foo. In Toronto, we have a chain run by Russian Jews called "whattabagel". They have all the standards (poppy, sesame, plain, etc.), and "modern" bagels, like cinnamon raisin, blueberry, whole wheat, etc. Now on a standard bagel, I'll either have plain cream cheese or smoked salmon c.c., but a freshly toasted cinnamon raisin slathered with butter with a fresh not coffee is sublime.

                                                                                                                                                                Also in Toronto, many bagels are sold in our ubiquitous doughnut stores. Most will gladly toast a fresh one for you, and put your choice of c.c. or butter on it, but many people are in too much of a hurry to wait, and will buy a pre-packaged bagel. These come sandwich style, cut in half. The odd thing is you get a choice of c.c., which makes sense to me, or a really thick slice of cheddar, which just seems odd even after looking at for more than a decade.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: KevinB

                                                                                                                                                                  Cheddar? That does seem.... bizarre. I love cheese in all its many forms of goodness, but cheddar + bagel = odd.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Catskillgirl

                                                                                                                                                                    Have a seat Ms. C but jfood has seen a bagel store selling Jalepeno Cheddar Bagels. Talk about a multi-national screwup.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Catskillgirl

                                                                                                                                                                      Would you like cheese IN your bagel? In the Bay Area we have Noah's Bagels, (started well over 12 years ago) that sells all the traditional and non flavors. What would you put on an asiago bagel? And the worst part of it is, the bagels are steamed, not boiled, so they are soft and doughy.....

                                                                                                                                                                      Noah expanded quite a bit and sold out the business a few years ago. It hasn't changed much since then.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rednails

                                                                                                                                                                        I once bought what I thought was a cinnamon raisin bagel (I know, not traditional, but not too bad every once in a while) at my workplace cafe. Only when I bit into it I discovered that it was actually a sun-dried tomato and some sort of cheese bagel. At 8:00 in the morning! I had to spit it out. Nasty!!!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                          What's so gross about a sun-dried tomato and cheese bagel? Sounds good to me.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Humbucker

                                                                                                                                                                            Not at 8:00 am when your taste buds are all set for a bite of cinnamon raisin!

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Catskillgirl

                                                                                                                                                                        Cheddar "bagel", with butter and strawberry jam... this is the kind of abomination I enjoy at places like "Great Canadian Bagel" (by which they do NOT mean Montreal-style bagel, therefore an oxymoronic name). You just have to take it for what it is, a non-bagel bun of some kind.

                                                                                                                                                              2. I like a medium amount of cream cheese, not too thick, not too thin. I eat them open faced when sitting at a table, but prefer them as a sandwich when standing, such as when waiting for my train in Penn Station.

                                                                                                                                                                1. I usually fill the hole in the bagel with canned apple pie filling, spread canned icing all over and put a few little birthday candles on it then cover with nuts. :-)
                                                                                                                                                                  I call it a Kwanza Bagel.

                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: margshep

                                                                                                                                                                    LOL, the Kwanzaa Cake continues to enjoy its well more than 15 minutes of shame! Good one!

                                                                                                                                                                  2. For context: 3rd generation San Francisco Bay Area born and raised Jew. Mid 20s.

                                                                                                                                                                    In the Bay Area, there are loads of bagel shops, chains (Noah's, Posh Bagel) and independently owned. Before this explosion of mainstream bagel culture in the early/mid 90s (as I remember it, somebody correct me if my timing is off), I had only eaten bagels at home with a small amount of cream cheese, spread a little bit more liberally than butter.

                                                                                                                                                                    Going to Noah's Bagels or Posh Bagel with my mom was a revelation in other people's bagel habits. Behold, the half-inch shmear! I never would have considered using that much cream cheese until I saw it done outside my home. Invariably, I'd get a stomach ache from eating that much rich cheese, but what a way to get one . . .

                                                                                                                                                                    At home, I use a small amount of cream cheese. Out at bagel places, I will usually remove some of the shmear, but leave on more than I would have put on at home. Always open-faced.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Maybe you drive people nuts the way you eat it.

                                                                                                                                                                      A bagel and cream cheese is traditionally a Jewish food. The sandwich is the way it was originally eaten.

                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jacey


                                                                                                                                                                        No need to get nasty.

                                                                                                                                                                        And jfood would disagree vigorously with "The sandwich is the way it was originally eaten." Accordin to who?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                          Not me. In my immigrant grandfathers' apartments in the Bronx and Brooklyn, bagels and lox was always eaten open-faced, never as sandwiches - and one was a Glitz and the other a Litvak, so we're talking about a cross-cultural phenomenon.

                                                                                                                                                                          Maybe the sandwich is a sephardi thing (if they eat bagels at all)? :)

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Striver

                                                                                                                                                                            Well, the Galitzianers would be closer to the ostensible origins of the bagel in Cracow (the Litvaks being closer to the origins of the bialy, and Sephardi et al further from it all, though obviously there is a common heritage of circular breads with a hole, but I digress).

                                                                                                                                                                            Personally, I suspect it has more to do with social class in NYC. For laboring class people for whom the bagel is a meal designed to get one through physical labor (at home or at work) in the morning, the thick schmear provided more energy. For middle class folks with desk jobs or maids at home, a more delicate approach could be afforded.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. You think thats bad, you should've seen the way I ate bagels and cream cheese as a kid. Take a bagel, split it, throw in the toaster and wait. Bust out some cream cheese (plain only) and proceed to schmear it on the bagel so that it spreads evenly on the bagel from the warm toaster.
                                                                                                                                                                        THEN this is the MOST important step...scrape off every last bit of cream cheese, even the little holes filled with cream cheese. I HATED cheese as a kid and thus would do this to my bagels only so that they would get "moist." Only now can I add a proper amount of cream cheese (:

                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bitsubeats

                                                                                                                                                                          Why didn't you just butter it instead? :)

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Morganna

                                                                                                                                                                            I don't know? I liked that teensy tiny taste of cream cheese and we didn't have butter growing up. We had country crock *shudder* ew

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Southern California Catholic.

                                                                                                                                                                          My favorite is a spinach parmesan bagel, toasted. Split and spread with cream cheese as an ingredient not condiment

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                                                            As a fellow Californian, it's things like that that get us called Californicators!!! But sounds great; I'd just put butter on it and acknowledge that I was really not eating a bagel :)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                              I realize it is totally like so not bagels and lox

                                                                                                                                                                              same bagelry has orange/cranberry, chipotle cheese, jalapeno cheese, garlic, blueberry, pumpernickel, garlic etc. bagels. And strawberry cream cheese, honey nut, plain, and veggie cream cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                              They sell a pizza "bagel" too.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. I do not see cream cheese as a condiment, rather it is a food group. Shmear doesn't even enter my radar, I can't even eat my bagel without at least a half inch of cream cheese. My favorite is an onion bagel with loads of cream cheese, a slice of tomato, and salt. referably an onion bagel. Also, I make cream cheese sandwiches all the time (Health-nut bread, cream cheese, yellow mustard, cucumbers and sprouts, or pita breat, cream cheese, roast beef, yellow mustard, sprouts and sliced black olives). But, no, I don't eat my bagel as a sandwich. This thread has made me hungry for a bagel-I'm going to the store now.

                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                                                                                Ha! I wasn't even kidding when I said I was craving a bagel-I just finished it!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Most bagels are too chewy to make a good sandwich. When you bite into the bagel the filling squirts out the opposite side, and/or you risk breaking a tooth on the crust. They're much easier to eat in quarters with the topping sitting on them uncovered (and not too much of it.)

                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Kajikit

                                                                                                                                                                                My first bagel/lox/cream cheese experience was in the company of my first wife and her Jewish uncle, whom I had just met at his office in the LA "rag trade" district. He took us down to the building's coffee shop for some refreshment, and ordered us all bagels with lox and cream cheese. Cream cheese I knew, but that was it. It looked really good, so I took a big old bite and immediately squirted about half the contents onto the table. Uncle Charles was amused; Pamela was not, partly because I'd gotten some on her, too. Uncle Charles then demonstrated how to separate the halves without getting it all over one's fingers...

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Diving in a little late but better late than never.... A Montreal bagel (either St. Viateur or Fairmount will do, and preferably sesame seed), sliced, along with a quarter-inch layer of Winnipeg cream cheese, one or two thin slices of the Innisfail, Alberta red onion, and topped with a couple of slices of Sooke smoked salmon......

                                                                                                                                                                                Off to Beauty's for one now...yum.....

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JohnnyGe

                                                                                                                                                                                  Don't they make their bagels with honey?? That's always struck me as fundamentally wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Making yet another bagel...

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. OOooo I love bagels! I don't eat them like a sandwich though..ever!
                                                                                                                                                                                    I think that you have to eat them open faced, because you first start to taste with your nose, and as you rise your bagels with cream cheese to your mouth, you smell and taste the cream cheese making it so much better.
                                                                                                                                                                                    With a sandwich style bagel, you don't get the aroma of the cream cheese before it reaches your tastebuds...
                                                                                                                                                                                    just my thoughts...

                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: burlgurl

                                                                                                                                                                                      Wasn't aware cream cheese had an aroma.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. You are not the only one - my boyfriend does this and for reasons unknown, it bugs the heck out of me.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I have a pet peeve too. I don't like my bagel spread with cream cheese as soon as it comes out of the toaster. I don't like the way the cheese gets really soft and kind of gloppy where it hits the hot bagel. I let the bagel cool down a bit and while it's still warm but not *hot* I shmear on the cream cheese, an amount that is perhaps somewhere between what you like and what most people like. Maybe 1-2 tablespoons, tops, per each half. I like my cream cheese cool (again, somewhere between cold and room temp) and like the contrast between the cool and warm bagel. When I order a bagel, I always ask for the bagel to be toasted with cream cheese on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                        This thread just proves that people can be really particular about their food; that's why we're all here.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: soniabegonia

                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah, I'm with you on the glutinous thing that happens to the bottom layer of cream cheese when it's immediately spread onto a toasted bagel, (and no, I guess I'm not old school; I prefer my bagels toasted, although I draw the line at ALL fruit/berry bagels.) I just wait a couple minutes so the top's not scorching enough to let that happen. And, while I like a good Onion Bagel, toasted, with a thick schmear, some nova, thin-sliced red onion, heirloom tomatoes and capers, I LOVE:
                                                                                                                                                                                          A toasted sesame bagel with a thin veggie cream cheese schmear and tuna salad!! (not made as a sandwich, though; done open-faced) or
                                                                                                                                                                                          An everything bagel, toasted, with a spinach cream cheese schmear and thin-sliced liverwurst, with a squirt of hot mustard. : ) I wonder how much flak I'll catch for these?
                                                                                                                                                                                          Mr. Chef likes an untoasted plain bagel with whitefish salad, chopped liver or egg salad with thin-sliced onion, and my daughter the purist has an untoasted sesame w plain cream cheese and a lot of it, open-faced. And my red-headed stepchild likes blueberry bagel, untoasted, with strawberry cream cheese, the unholy little infidel. We still let her come for brunch, though. : )

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Since when did bagels alone did become so sacred? Given chowhounds' nature to break rules, I'm surprised that this one item reveals so much orthodoxy, no pun intended.

                                                                                                                                                                                          It sort of returns to the age-old debate about authenticity, which so many of us are otherwise willing to admit is tricky, no?

                                                                                                                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                                                                                            I've kinda thought that most of this thread was a light and humorous one. No? Well, except for cucumbers. There's nothing funny about cukes :)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                              Heh! And I did accept the fact that there's something fundamentally wrong with the blueberry bagels I used to eat, so clearly I draw my own lines somewhere. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                                                                                              Bagels became sacred to jfood when he moved to CT and realized that every bagel in his new 'hood was crap.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Go check out the pizza thread and see what the left coast ahs done to that. One poster even credited Puck with the Pizza. Oy.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                Maybe Mr. O and I can bring jfood some NYC bagels when we're back there in June/July? You prefer blueberry, right?????????? Lettuce???

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                                                                                                Pizza, pastrami, hot dogs and bagels..................... seem to be four of the most 'orthodox' food items on these boards. And that is how it was ordained! :o)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Don't forget carbonara (no dairy) and ragu bolognese (not a tomato sauce).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  What they share is a passion for clear taxonomy. That X means X.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                                                                                                    you think so? i don't the word "pizza" means the same thing to a new yorker, someone from st louis, and someone from chicago.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    similarly, if you were served a NY hot dog in chicago you would be thought stingy, while serving a chicago hot in NY would raise a few eyebrows over what you were dsoing to that poor hot dog.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Actually, that is the passion over taxonomy - what is and is not properly called pizza, what is and is not properly called a hot dog.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                                                                                    jfood thought those were the four basic food groups.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ooh, that makes for an interesting thread idea! I'm stealing it, Midlife. Though I'll give you credit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. hmmm i think your right: that is really silly

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I love bagels and lox, sans cream cheese. I bet you most people on this board think I'm the weird one. By the way, I eat it in 4 pieces as well, but that's only to savor it longer. If I could eat 10 bagels at a time, I would probably go the sandwich route. To each their own:}

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Um...I had forgotten about this thread...I started this thread...I didn't realize how much discussion there could be over my silly bagel and cream cheese thing ;)