Shared from Eater
#bagelgate is the best thing on Twitter today. | © Twitter / @AlekKrautmann
A crime is being committed against bagels and it’s happening in St. Louis. A photo of “a St Louis secret” — vertically… sliced… bagels — is making the internet rounds today, creating quite a debate. Yes, bagels in St. Louis are apparently being sliced like a loaf of bread despite having a hole in the middle and being completely unlike a loaf of bread. Perhaps this special slicing method should have stayed a secret. As many Eater editors pointed out today, this practice is very wrong.
The internet seems to agree that this says something more about St. Louis as a food city. And being the internet, the discussion eventually transformed this bagel horrorshow (now referred to as #bagelgate) into a “St. Louis style” meme. Think: rainbow macaroni and cheese, steak and bananas drizzled in ketchup, mayonnaise and banana sandwiches, and even more ketchup on spaghetti.
For more on this extremely amusing takedown of St. Louis’s offensive bagel slicing habits, Eater turned to a resident St. Louis expert Julia Rubin at The Goods. Rubin says that despite all the cruel mockery of her hometown bagels, “sliced bagels are fine, even GOOD.”
Rubin notes that unlike the renowned bagel snobs of New York, San Francisco, or even Montreal, St. Louis residents are really limited in their bagel options and therefore don’t hold themselves to the same standards for bagel etiquette. “An important thing to remember is that in much of St. Louis, especially the suburbs, there are only chain bagel options like Einstein’s or Panera (which was originally known as St. Louis Bread Company, is still branded as such in STL, and is affectionately called Bread Co. by everyone),” she tells Eater.
But why would someone ever turn to slicing a bagel in such an unconventional way? Rubin argues that there are a couple situations in which vertically sliced bagels are actually “ideal” for bagel consumption. “The first is if you want to maximize your surface area for spreads, which is definitely A Thing at Bread Co., which has weirdo (but great!) options like honey walnut cream cheese,” she writes on Slack.