Toasted Bagels with Cream Cheese
The Secret Ingredient That Makes NYC Cream Cheese So Tasty
New York City is known for many iconic foods, one of which being a bagel with schmear, AKA cream cheese. You might even notice that the cream cheese in NYC has a special flavor.
In a typical NYC bagel shop, cream cheese isn’t just scooped out of a container. The deli usually offers many of its own flavors, and even the plain stuff has a secret ingredient.
According to TikTok user @brooklynbagelblog, NYC joints add seltzer water to the spread, which “helps whip hard cream cheese into a smooth, creamy texture.”
Some bubbles and extra liquid make the cream cheese softer and easy to mix in large quantities, which is especially useful when flavoring it with veggies and herbs.
It’s important to be able to mix large quantities of the spread easily, especially when there are add-ins like veggies and herbs. It needs to be spreadable and the seltzer helps.
It's easy to make some NYC-style cream cheese at home by whipping it with a bit of seltzer. Make sure to use unflavored seltzer water for maximum fluffiness with no off flavors.