I have always been a purist when it comes to bagels, believing flavored cream cheese to be the devil's handiwork. There is only one acceptable schmear that should be sandwiched between two halves of an everything bagel, and that is Temp Tee whipped cream cheese. I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone on earth decided that the Bagelsphere needed cream cheese options such as chocolate chip or pumpkin spice, but it is no surprise that such monsters walk among us. Once upon a time, some evil demon of a human decided that bagels should contain raisins, and people have been going wild for it every since. If anyone is doing a thesis on the slow decline of western civilization, the raisin bagel should be your starting point.

A few years ago it was explained to me that people outside of New York City have no access to Temp Tee whipped cream cheese. I had never once considered all the poor souls who would never truly understand the pleasures of a real bagel and needed to make due with whatever they had. They had to whip their own cream cheese, and perhaps throw something in the mixer to help cover up the fact that their bagels were terrible. All they wanted was to belong, and to have a morning nosh like the rest of us lucky ones. 

Then somewhere along the line, flavored cream cheeses started showing up in the bagel shops of New York—a reverse migration of sorts. Nearly every bagel shop in the five boroughs now has a wide array of flavored cream cheese you can defile your bagel with, just like how pineapple and ranch dressing have found their way onto our pizzas. I don't necessarily agree with it, but it seems that I have no choice in the matter. If we're now living in a world where purity isn't glamorous enough for our tastes, at least we can make smart decisions and practice safe-bageling.

 

Acceptable Cream Cheese Additions

  • Scallions
  • Spanish olives
  • Smoked salmon
  • Red onion
  • Roasted garlic
  • Chopped herbs
  • Jalapeños
  • Shredded vegetables

Totally Unacceptable Cream Cheese Additions

  • Chocolate chips
  • Pumpkin, or any sort of pie filling
  • Sprinkles
  • Edible glitter
  • Chopped bacon (on top, yes. In the cream cheese, no)
  • Nutella
  • Raisins
  • Chili

<strong>How to Make Whipped <strong>Flavored</strong> Cream Cheese</strong>

  1. Put cream cheese in a mixer and beat the hell out of it. Really, just go to town. Get it nice and light and fluffy.

  2. Chop up whatever it is you're going to add nice and good. I'm not a fan of big chunks, but I've already messed you around enough, so this is up to you.

  3. Add that stuff to the cream cheese and keep beating it. Then eat (and plan your move to a city that sells Temp Tee).