In GQ’s recent interview with Lin-Manuel Miranda—the creator of Hamilton, America’s favorite musical about the “$10 Founding Father without a father” and winner of many, many Tony Awards, if you’ve been underground for the last two years—they discussed life after the biggest show on Broadway, the transformative power of a haircut, and his move to London to work on Disney’s upcoming movie Mary Poppins Returns alongside Emily Blunt. But there was something else newsworthy that stuck out: over the course of his conversation with GQ, Lin-Manuel Miranda dunked “a raisin bagel in his coffee.”
Is bagel dunking a thing people do? It was a passing comment in the introduction to the article—one of those little tidbits thrown into radio interviews and Vogue profiles to humanize the subject, to provide some grounding. But it was news to me, and I’m more or less in the business of knowing about the best things to dip into your coffee. Extra Crispy has already talked about the right cookies to immerse in your caffe and breadcrumbs as a good absorber of caffeine. Sammy Hagar knows the importance of biscotti or sweet rolls for his morning joe. And that policeman-endorsed idea of doughnuts dipped in coffee is so ubiquitous that we made doughnut-coffee milk popsicles instead, just to mix it up.
But bagels don’t typically get the same dunking treatment. There’s no doubt that bagels are best accompanied by a hot cup of black coffee, I’m just not sure of this whole dipping thing. There’s some perfect alchemy that occurs when you combine the bitterness of the coffee, the creamy, sweet-sour of the schmear, and the honeyed, sturdy starch of the bagel. And it seems like this might all be lost if you were to compromise the structural integrity of that perfect polished-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside bagel by moistening it—especially a bagel that is purely a vehicle for the perfect amount of cream cheese (that, by the way, would just slip off when introduced to your morning brew).
But I could be wrong here. And goodness knows there are other things to take into account: was the bagel toasted? That would change things. Did it go un-schmeared? If so, that seems better for the coffee, though sad for the bagel. Was the coffee milky? Maybe you’d get the creaminess after all. I need more details, GQ. Please spill! And until then, I’ll reserve judgment. Mostly.