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Despite my strong opinions about condiments, I am not really a food fundamentalist, at least in terms of what is or is not appropriate about what belongs on a food, with the rare notable exceptions such as that people who put ketchup on hot dogs should lose the suffrage. I personally think that neither Chicago nor New York pizza is particularly great and that of California generally much better, in no small part because of the creative toppings that are often much more tasty (and fresh!) than what goes on Chicago pizza-like casserole or New York rubber. Moreover, I like pineapple on pizza. Bite me haters. And while I don’t really see the point of something like potatoes or tortellini on pizza, hey, whatever floats your boat.

The response of Cynthia Nixon’s cinnamon raisin bagel order reminds of the pointlessness of that sort of food policing. Now, I don’t do sweet bagels, but I can’t say how many times I’ve heard that the one exception to the atrocity of sweet bagels is cinnamon raisin and I never understood why except that it exists already so is OK. And while I will order an everything bagel 99% of the time as it is objectively the greatest of all bagels, why are savory bagels limited by fundamentalists as everything, salt, sesame, poppy. What is wrong with a spinach bagel? Why would that not be OK? Or a jalapeño bagel? Or whatever works? Why should we not be creative with bagels like with everything else?

The real crime against bagels is that in 99.9% of the nation, they are an atrocity thanks to shortcutting the process. And no, New Yorkers, your water is not special. That explanation for the difference in quality makes about as much sense as you somehow deciding twice that Rudy Giuliani should be your mayor. Luckily, the quality of bagels is slowly changing and about 5 proper bagel shops seem to have opened in Providence in the year I was away and some at least have a high reputation. So that’s good. But that’s what bagel politics should be about, not what is in said bagel, even if the idea of capers on a cinnamon raisin bagel does sound pretty gross.

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