Horror, Scandal, Curiosity, Acceptance: The St. Louis bagel slice changes everything

Plus, the James Beard Foundation announces finalists—and more food world news.

Alek Krautmann changed America when he introduced Twitter to a “St. Louis secret.” This clandestine act was to order what looks like a dozen bagels for the office and instead of slicing the bagel horizontally through the center like a sane person, he instructed Panera to cut the bagels from the top down, to the width of a slice of bread.


I’ve never seen this—has anyone ever witnessed this atrocity?—and I’m a girl from New Jersey, from a Jewish family, who has probably eaten more bagels than anything else in life.

I quickly sent this tweet to my bagel posse.

“As a native New Yorker, I am vehemently opposed and deeply offended,” texted food writer Nevin Martell, while on vacation in Mexico.

“Upsetting. I would not promote it as a better way to eat a bagel,” is how Narratively‘s Brendan Spiegel, a lifelong New Yorker and a travel writer, responded.

Friends continued to transmit disapproval: “I’m obviously very offended … as a former STL resident, a Jew and a human with a brain/appetite.” … “Blasphemy.” … “This feels wrong. So wrong.”

But then, blessings appeared: “I think it’s cool,” wrote my flesh-and-blood brother. I’m now realizing maybe I never really knew him. “Why not?”

His Irish-Italian, New Jersey-raised wife wrote: “I love it.” Then qualifies her answer: “I would like it for a meeting. Not an individual serving.” She’s re-invited to Passover seder.

My friend who owns a bar in DC: “OMG that’s amazing!!!! I can put soooooo [the use of six “o”s are her doing] much more everything-bagel spice on them!”

Since this bagel news broke on the internet, and I’ve indulged in the the requisite think piece, the shock has worn off. My main argument is, if you want slices, buy a loaf of bread. Why humiliate a bagel and ruin its unique shape and texture when there are so many other bread options baked for this particular sliced function?

I wish I never knew about it. Now I have to try it.

News, events, etc.

Virginia is shut out of the James Beard Award finalists, but DC restaurant nods include: Jose Andres for Jaleo, Amy Brandwein for Centrolina, Tom Cunanan for Bad Saint, Pichet Ong for Brothers & Sisters, and Kwame Onwuachi for Kith and Kin. [James Beard Foundation]

“We do have to live within the reality of our society that we do consume meat and meat products.” After protests, Saba Halal Live Poultry will open in Alexandria. [WTOP]

Rich Rosendale, of Roots 657 in Lucketts, is starting RC Culinary Lab for cooking classes, events and fast-tracking local products to market. [Loudoun Times-Mirror]

DC’s Kwame Onwuachi, 29 and a James Beard Rising Star Chef finalist, releases excerpts from his memoir—Notes From a Young Black Chefand he’s naming names. [Eater]

Restaurant critic Tom Sietsema tells chefs: cut down portions. [The Washington Post]

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