Twitter user Alek Krautmann ignited controversy this morning with his photo of vertically sliced bagels.
Today I introduced my coworkers to the St Louis secret of ordering bagels bread sliced. It was a hit! pic.twitter.com/XNGbljtpYz
— Alek Krautmann (@AlekKrautmann) March 26, 2019
First things first, these bagels appear to be from Panera Bread, which may be a perfectly acceptable bagel vendor in St. Louis, but if you live in New York and you want a bagel, it’s probably a good idea to keep walking to a place whose owner is not currently attempting to “atone for his family’s Nazi past.”
But their provenance aside, these bagels have been sliced in a way that, depending who you ask, is either a major faux pas or the greatest thing since sliced bread.
The original tweet was quickly ratioed, and responses ridiculing the sliced bagel concept garnered more likes than the original post.
Today I introduced my coworkers to the St Louis PBJ pic.twitter.com/yEkBusJx6G
— Haver of Opinions (@HaverOfOpinions) March 27, 2019
Even Dictionary.com chimed in, arguing that the etymology of the word “bagel” requires it to take the shape of a ring.
Bagel comes from the Old High German boug meaning "a ring." Please cut accordingly.https://t.co/vsZBhmpIIQ https://t.co/sgxXZIr9yU
— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) March 27, 2019
Sliced bagel critics say that the slices on either side of the bagel hole would be too small, and that part of the joy of eating a bagel comes from sinking one’s teeth into its thick, chewy dough. Fans have said that the bagel slices have more surface area for schmears and that some people prefer not to eat a whole bagel — a problem I can’t claim to have ever encountered. If you ask me, pizza should be folded, pasta water should be salted, and bagels should be sliced through the middle and loaded with cream cheese, maybe some lox.
Bagels are also excellent sandwich vessels. A bacon, egg and cheese just wouldn’t be the same sandwiched between wafer-thin discs. Can a slice of tomato even fit atop a bread-sliced bagel crisp?
But I won’t completely knock it until I try it. I just have to find a New York bagel shop that’s willing to butcher a perfectly good hunk of dough. After all, stranger things have happened.