Bagel-loving New York Battles Cream Cheese Shortage

A cream cheese shortage is threatening a New York staple.

© Shutterstock


A cream cheese shortage is threatening a New York staple.

© Shutterstock

New York City bagel shops are cheesed off, literally.

They're facing a shortage of cream cheese, threatening, bagel makers say, one of the most iconic delicacies in New York: a fresh bagel with schmear, as it's known.

Supply chain problems have gripped US for months during the Covid pandemic, and now New York's bagel purveyors are starting to feel the effects, with some predicting they would run out of cream cheese this week, The New York Times reported.

Scott Goldshine, the general manager at Zabar’s on Manhattan's Upper West Side, estimated he only had enough to last until next Monday, 13 December.

“Begging is one of my plans, which I have done, and it’s helped,” Goldshine told the newspaper. adding that he had called about eight distributors in recent days. “If anybody’s got it, let them call me.”

"No one has it in New York"

Many bagel shops said they were frustrated and rushing to find cream cheese, with limited success.

Frank Mattera, who owns Bagelsmith in Williamsburg, first noticed the shortage two weeks ago. “I went to North Jersey the other night to pick up cream cheese, because no one has it New York," Mattera told NY1 . "Picked up almost a thousand pounds that night."

Many stores use unprocessed Philadelphia cream cheese made by food giant, Kraft Heinz, as a base for their own schmear creations, and are worried alternatives, even if they can find them, just won't taste the same.