Classic Bagels and Lox

  • When asked on a flight, what she would most love to eat at that moment, the late Beverly Sills replied, “Cream cheese and lox on a poppy seed bagel.”  Bagels and lox qualifies perfectly as one of the proverbial “marriages made in heaven.”  I don’t know who first came up with the combination of smoked salmon, cream cheese and sliced onion on a bagel, but that person should be sainted.  Kind of a mixed metaphor since the word “lox” is derived from the Yiddish word for salmon.  At any rate, the sweet, salty, briny flavor of smoked salmon, whether it be Scottish, Nordic or Nova Lox couldn’t be better serviced.
    I like thinly sliced red onion. A few capers are optional. The quality of the bagel is important. Personally, I have suffered withdrawal symptoms since the famous H&H Bagels of NYC closed.  You just have to seek out the best you can find.  They should not taste like bread.  They should be plump and chewy and have a slight moist sponginess.  My favorite is the onion bagel with poppy seed running a close second.  I think the bagel should be toasted but this is controversial.
    When my husband and I drive into Manhattan, we make a Zabar’s run and pick up all these fixin’s and that, not surprisingly, becomes the evening’s dinner.
    Recipe by Phyllis Kirigin