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BreadHive Embraces Bagelgate

Note: This post is not an endorsement of any candidate.

If you haven’t been following the fall elections, feel free to stop reading and doze back off. For everyone else, you’ve probably heard of “Bagelgate” — even though it may have seemed most relevant to Gotham residents, as it involved a staple of New York City cuisine: the bagel. You could say bagels are to NYC as wings are here — everyone has their favorite joint and favorite kind, and there are ways of eating and not eating them that are almost articles of religious faith.

In that sense, “Bagelgate,” involving Democratic gubernatorial challenger Cynthia Nixon, could be considered the NYC equivalent of dipping wings in ranch. Gothamist (appropriately), first broke the story, which they captured on video, of Nixon’s favorite bagel order at Zabar’s (think the NYC bagel equivalent of Duff’s): a cinnamon-raisin bagel with cream cheese, lox, red onion, tomato, and capers. According to reports, in ordering, she described this as a “full load.” Reaction was immediate and intense. Blog Eater.com describes it:

A bagel with cream cheese, lox, red onion, tomato, and capers is an iconic NYC foodstuff, like a slice of pizza folded in half or a dirty water hot dog — but Nixon’s wildcard substitution of a cinnamon-raisin bagel is what’s causing people to lose their minds. A plain bagel would be de rigueur, as would another savory variety like sesame or everything, but a sweet bagel seems decidedly out of place. The NY Post declared it “the strangest bagel of all time,” while one Food & Wine staffer proclaimed it “basically criminal” and Twitter users decried it as “a crime against the bagel gods,” “gross,” and “just wrong.”

People on Twitter who had never used the “barf” emoji — and swore they never would — resorted to it. It was the biggest campaign food story I can recall since Hillary Clinton’s battle with the cheesecake in 2016.

Of all the hot takes on “Bagelgate,” CITYLAB had perhaps the most thoughtful, exploring how regional food is a staple of political campaigns that can also be a pitfall for candidates. And indeed, we see candidates coming through Buffalo making the obligatory stops for wings and beef-on-weck. Several years ago I wrote about my experience with the Spitzer team visiting my neighborhood in Rochester and heading over to Nick Tahou’s for Garbage Plates™. Spitzer took things even further (as, sadly, he had a propensity to do) by bringing regional food from all over the state to Empire State Plaza for his inaugural.

Cynthia Nixon visits BreadHive

Today, BreadHive is making their own statement on “Bagelgate” the best way they know how: by serving up Cynthia Nixon’s very bagel order for you to try — if you dare. BreadHive is a cooperatively owned bakery founded by women with a menu of sandwiches named for women celebrities (the Britney, the Whitney, etc.) that has attracted a loyal clientele from near and far — and was even featured in the New York Times travel section. The owner-bakers haven’t hidden their support for Nixon’s candidacy. They proudly display her lawn sign out front, and the candidate herself visited the bakery a month ago (it is not known if she ordered the “full load”).

Today’s primary election is important in deciding the direction of our great state for the next four years. If you’re registered with a political party, please do vote in your party’s primary. Regardless of party, or for whom you vote, consider stopping by BreadHive to reward yourself for participating in a “full load” of democracy.

Get connected: BreadHive Cynthia Nixon bagel special

Written by RaChaCha

RaChaCha

RaChaCha is a Garbage Plate™ kid making his way in a Chicken Wing world. Since 2008, he's put over a hundred articles on here, and he asked us to be sure to thank you for reading. So, thank you for reading. You may also have seen his freelance byline in Artvoice, where he writes under the name his daddy gave him [Ed: Send me a check, and I might reveal what that is]. When he's not writing, RaChaCha is an urban planner, a rehabber of houses, and a community builder. He co-founded the Buffalo Mass Mob, and would love to see you at the next one. He represents Buffalo Young Preservationists on the Trico roundtable. If you try to demolish a historic building, he might have something to say about that. He is a proud AmeriCorps alum.

Things you may not know about RaChaCha (unless you read this before): "Ra Cha Cha" is a nickname of his hometown. (Didn't you know that? Do you live under a rock?) He's a political junkie (he once worked for the president of the Monroe County Legislature), but we don't really let him write about politics on here. He helped create a major greenway in the Genesee Valley, and worked on early planning for the Canalway Trail. He hopes you enjoy biking and hiking on those because that's what he put in all that work for. He was a ringleader of the legendary "Chill the Fill" campaign to save Rochester's old downtown subway tunnel. In fact, he comes from a long line of troublemakers. An ancestor fought at Bunker Hill, and a relative led the Bear Flag Revolt in California. We advise you to remember this before messing with him in the comments. He worked on planning the Rochester ARTWalk, and thinks Buffalo should have one of those, too (write your congressman).

You can also find RaChaCha (all too often, we frequently nag him) on the Twitters at @HeyRaChaCha. Which is what some people here yell when they see him on the street. You know who you are.

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