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We Don’t Talk Enough About: Lox Spread

It's a delicious schmear for all the people, not just the privileged few.

Jun Seita

I have been eating a lot of bagels lately, which has led me to conclude that we don’t give enough love to one of the hardest-working, most ingenious, most rewarding bagel-adjacent features out there. I am speaking, of course, about lox spread.

Lox spread, if you don’t know, is the cream cheese that has little bits of lox in it. Sometimes it looks pretty pink, sometimes less so. But whatever the case, it is a beautiful thing.

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Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that lox spread is superior to a full piece of lox on a bagel. I am not a crazy person, and I am not a monster, and I am not a bad Jew. Lox is a gift from above.

But lox is also extremely expensive. And because I am a good Jew, I love a bargain. (I can say that!) In 2019, the Forward found that a bagel with cream cheese and lox—can cost you anywhere from $7 to $24 in New York City. My local spot—whose bagels, I hasten to add, I adore—charges roughly 13 bucks, which I’d guess is about the average in NYC.

This is where lox spread comes in. Instead of breaking the bank, I can get a poppy bagel (my preferred bagel) with lox spread (not toasted, obviously!!!) for less than half the price of the full lox experience. It still tastes wonderful and, crucially, it still has actual pieces of lox in it. Let me repeat that: you’re still getting lox! Lifehack alert…

Lox spread is doing a vital public service for people who want to commune with lox without spending a ton of money. It’s putting something as glorious as lox in front of us while still allowing us to live within our means. It’s a delicious schmear for all the people, not just the privileged few. Did lox spread vote for Bernie? Who’s to say (yes). It deserves our thanks and our praise.

PS: Sorry to any Jews out there who are fasting right now! I’m not trying to make lives difficult.