To schmear or not to schmear . . .


Cream cheese on a bagel.

Image via Wikipedia

In New York, the sale of whole bagels isn’t subject to sales tax. But the tax does apply to “sliced or prepared bagels (with cream cheese or other toppings),” according to the state Department of Taxation and Finance. And if the bagel is eaten in the store, even if it’s never been touched by a knife, it’s also taxed.”

And so starts the great bagel debate. In a bid to raise funds, New York is taxing their most prized possession, the bagel.  For my New York friends here is my question:  Should  you pay the tax or should you grab a doughnut instead?

My answer is simple:  Pay it. Don’t even think twice about it. Ah, but here is where the creme cheese meets the plate.

I am basing my quick and brash answer on two things. One: the fact that I lived in NYC for almost 15 years and ate a bagel practically every day that I lived there. (Sometimes multiple bagels per day) And two:  The fact that I don’t live there anymore and would do and pay just about anything to taste probably the best bagel on God’s green earth.

Now for my YS Ohio peeps, I know I can get a decent bagel locally, or go to a specialty grocery story, but it’s not the same.  When you have kids and never enough time you hit the large stores, in my case Kroger or Sam’s Club. You ain’t gettin’ a NY bagel there.  I’ve learned to tolerate the Thomas’s version of the beloved bagel. With it’s Everything name, one would think it was actually the real thing. But I know better. And most New Yorker’s would too.

So what I’m saying is, New Yorker’s  please heed my words,  you don’t know what you got till’ it’s gone. Imagine your life without bagels. Can you? Imagine walking down Broadway, melted butter dripping down your arm because it has no place to go. Creme cheese stuck to a stale piece of wonder bread . . . Poppy seeds crying out in desperate isolation . . . Frightening isn’t it?  What you have just imagined is my life. I live it everyday. But you don’t have to.

Please, pay the extra 8 cents and consider yourselves amongst the privileged few who can sit down and enjoy the best bagel in the world.

Would you pay an extra 8 cents for a sliced and schmeared piece of bakery heaven?

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4 responses to “To schmear or not to schmear . . .

  1. Um ya! The Bagel is my second favorite food in the world, second to pizza. And you find them both in their best form in good old NYC! Well you can get a pretty close Bagel in Brookline MA. ( Heavily Jewish town on the outskirts of Boston) and then in the North End of Boston again close on the pizza. Anyway, I will pay for good food.

  2. Oh, grocery store bagels are NASTY! I like Panera and Einstein, though I bet they are not as good as NYC bagels! Went to Panera for lunch today and brought home bagels for breakfast tomorrow… I like them toasted w/ LOT of butter… YUM! Had them sliced in the store but did not notice if charged tax or not… and like you said… tomorrow at breakfast I won’t care about the extra few cents if I was charged 🙂

    • I like Panera too, I get Einstein every now and then but a totally different bagel from NYC but still good.
      Yes, I agree about grocery story bagels but like I said most times at least for me, they are unavoidable.
      Oh yeah a good bagel is well worth it!!
      Thanks for the comment Lisa!

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