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.
About to mow down some St. Louis style mac and cheese. pic.twitter.com/WgfJRO0RQp— Bekka (@valhallabckgirl) March 27, 2019
Steak and bananas (St. Louis style) pic.twitter.com/uOpaWeslz7— dumbass ass idiot (@melip0ne) March 27, 2019
Today I introduced my coworkers to a St Louis classic pic.twitter.com/0RLrPYYRLM— SmashMike (@Mikelennial) March 27, 2019
Enjoying some St Louis Style spaghetti for lunch today! pic.twitter.com/BrTtJkCSpd— Beto was once in a band with Cedric from At The Dr (@hungerlordjrjr) March 27, 2019
Basically, any offense against food is now officially St. Louis style.
Just had a Kit Kat St. Louis style for lunch. pic.twitter.com/qsYDem0GcL— Mike (@MaJiKPfix) March 27, 2019
turns out the fyre fest was only just trying to sell st. louis style grilled cheese pic.twitter.com/WBpRYAKbQi— ben (@VT_Ben) March 27, 2019
Today I introduced my coworkers to the St Louis PBJ pic.twitter.com/yEkBusJx6G— Barstool sucks lol (@HaverOfOpinions) March 27, 2019
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.
Making this authentic St. Louis style casserole tonight pic.twitter.com/LvejsOf6MD— Brian (@BrianMcGannon) March 27, 2019
“The second is being in a car. The beauty of the bread-sliced bagel is that you can eat it out of the bag with one hand, like chips or fries. It’s so easy! For drivers! Passengers! Everyone!! You can go spreadless in this case, but you’d probably only want to do that with really flavorful bagels like chocolate chip, cinnamon crunch, or asiago. If you’re advanced, you might dip your pieces in a spread while driving.”
explains why they do this to pizza in St. Louis. pic.twitter.com/XzdwFgFQvD— Jeff (@jeffbmoore) March 27, 2019
As for these memes presently slandering St. Louis style sliced bagels, Rubin admits that they do cut a bit too close to home. “What makes the memes so dumb to me is that there are legitimately weird and possibly bad St. Louis food things that actually exist that people could hate on,” she writes.
“I love provel cheese, and Imo’s pizza specifically, but yeah it is fully plastic cheese. I’ve never met a non-native who likes it. Toasted ravioli: also insane. Very dry! Kinda gross! Not an ideal fried food, and yet I would never turn it down.” As for all the ketchup, Rubin wants to assure the world that St. Louisians are “very normal ketchup consumers!”
fine, Twitter, you can have st. louis style bagels. but leave my precious imo's pizza out of it— Cheyenne Langkamp (@byCheyenne) March 27, 2019
For those who still aren’t convinced by Rubin’s tips for eating a vertically sliced bagel, she recommends another St. Louis classic: the frozen concrete.