We know Dan Levy to be a man of many titles — actor, writer, producer — but egg cream denier is one we didn’t expect. Though we do not have any evidence of the Jewish actor refuting the beverage’s existence, it could be a worthy explanation for how Levy, in his 39 years of life, had not tried an egg cream before an episode of his cooking reality competition show “The Big Brunch.”
In the second episode of the feel-good HBO series, in which chefs compete each week in a variety of brunch-themed challenges, the competitors were tasked to riff on a classic diner dish. While the contestants raced against the clock, fellow judges Sohla El-Waylly, Will Guidara and Levy sat at a nearby banquet to discuss the previous round and sip on a couple of cocktails.
Here’s where it gets good — El-Waylly makes a bold choice and, instead of ordering a basic drink, displays her huge brain and requests a “boozy egg cream” to pair with the diner theme. To which Levy responds: “I’ve actually never had an egg cream.”
Although this episode featured other Jewish-food atrocities, including when contestant Daniel Harthausen utilized a — gasp — store-bought bagel in the previous appetizer round, Levy being ignorant to the magic of an egg cream is what shocked us the most.
As fellow judges El-Waylly and Guidara kindly explained to Levy, egg creams are a treat with neither egg nor cream in them. In actuality, the drink is a healthy mix of milk, chocolate syrup and seltzer invented by Jewish immigrant communities in New York in the 1920s and 30s (our personal favorite recipe is here).
Though the combination of ingredients seems a little strange, the treat has become a staple of the North American Jewish food canon, and American diner menus at large. So, the anticipation really began to build as the bartender brought over Levy’s mini egg cream to begin the rest of his new, enlightened Jewish life.
When finally sipping on the treat, Levy scrunched together his iconic brows in what we only imagine to be slight horror. As he put the sparkling milkshake down, Guidara quipped: “You’re just not an egg cream guy.”
While that may be true, we can also argue that spiking the drink was a bold choice for an egg cream newbie. We wholeheartedly encourage Dan Levy and all those egg cream uninformed to not judge this moment at face value, and try the real deal for yourselves. We’ll even make one for you, Dan, on us.