St. Louis Man Stirs Controversy Over Bagels Sliced Like Bread—Here's What You Need to Know
On Monday, a man from St. Louis tweeted a picture of some bagels, and the internet hasn’t been the same since.
The bagels in the photo were cut in what has been described as St. Louis “bread sliced” style: in little strips, like a loaf of bread. Bagel-lovers from across the country have been passionately chiming in to share their opinion of this concept on Twitter.
While some have reacted with horror and outrage, others have shared the benefits of slicing your bagels in this manner. The tweet has since gone viral—with over 8,000 comments, 3,000 retweets and 22,000 likes—and the debate has been labeled #Bagelgate.
The original tweet, posted by Twitter user Alek Krautmann, was a picture of two boxes of bagels, of all different varieties, from Panera Bread, or St. Louis Bread Co. as it’s called by locals because it was founded there.
“Today I introduced my coworkers to the St Louis secret of ordering bagels bread sliced,” read the caption. “It was a hit!”
It was not a hit with everyone outside of his office, however.
“This isn’t a hit. This is ‘Hey let me find the worst and cheapest way to feed 25 people with 12 bagels!’” wrote one critic.
“This poor person has obviously never had a good bagel,” added another, “otherwise he wouldn’t prioritize the cream cheese so hard.”
Even some famous handles, like Chrissy Teigen, PETA and Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy, had a few things to say.
But it wasn’t all bad. Some pro-slicers weighed in, like one user who wrote, “Hey but as a diabetic I have been told to never eat bagels but with a bread sliced one I could pick out a reasonable portion and keep my blood sugar down, and anyway I don’t get why a big wodge of dough is so sacred!”
Seemingly wanting to thank Krautmann for the exposure, Panera Bread’s social media account replied to the original post to offer him some free bagels, “sliced however you’d like.”
When reached for comment, a representative for Panera told PEOPLE they intend to make good on that promise.
“For the Twitter user who started the bread-slicing/bagel-slicing great debate, as we promised on social, Panera is planning to treat him to something special. We can’t share too much just yet as not to spoil any surprises.”
The representative added that while bread slicing bagels is a more common practice in Missouri, Paneras all over country would happily do it for those looking to try it for themselves.
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St. Louis native and former PEOPLE staffer Megan Stein also provided some insight into the odd habit.
“At St. Louis Bread Co (what we call Panera in St. Louis) we always ask for bagels bread sliced because they’re easier to eat on the go, and you can dip them into the little cream cheese packages way easier,” she tells PEOPLE. “People also sometimes buy more than one cream cheese package because they’re so small, and with the bread sliced you can dip it in more than one flavor.”
Bread slicing is so common in St. Louis that Stein says you don’t even really need to request it that way, the employees just assume. Living in New York now though, she’s learned that the technique does not translate.
“It’s so popular that when my brother visited New York this past weekend, he asked if he could get his bagel bread sliced,” she says. “But I feared for his life so I obviously told him not to.”