We don’t have many laws when it comes to eating food. If you decide to dip a chicken nugget in your milkshake, or blend your salad into a smoothie, there isn’t a culinary KGB waiting to snatch you from the street for a period of prolonged, painful interrogation. However, though technically you can do whatever you like with your dinner, there are a few social rules that we’re all encouraged to obey. Nothing will happen to you if you choose to break these laws, but the world will almost certainly look on you with total disgust.
Take bagels, for example. As the ultimate doughy, carby receptacle for everything from salmon and cream cheese to salt beef and pastrami, there is a socially acceptable, morally unambiguous way to prepare them. That is, obviously, to slice them horizontally, straight through the side, leaving you two identical halves ideal for buttering, filling and sandwiching. However, horrifying evidence has emerged this week to suggest that not everyone feels the need to play by this seemingly self explanatory bagel rulebook. Some people have gone rogue.
The evidence in question comes from a series of shocking photographs from the American city of St Louis. It has emerged that, in this relatively small Missouri community, bagels aren’t used for making overly stuffed, grotesquely carbohydrate-heavy lunches. In fact, here, sandwiches and bagels should never be said in the same sentence. Instead, bagels should be served sliced vertically, like a common sandwich loaf. The result is a series of irregular, oval wedges, each of which is more irritatingly shaped than the last. Yet, somehow, people swear by this method.
Obviously, such an unorthodox approach to bagel preparation has caused a deep divide across the internet. Incredulous onlookers have wondered out loud about why anyone would want to sacrifice the bagels best attributes, while others have tried desperately to figure out how anyone would be able to deal with the hole in the middle. As ever, the internet’s characteristic hyperbole has seen the debate spread like wildfire, with millions of bagel lovers desperate to share their two cents.
However, despite the alarming implications of shoddy sandwich construction and inconvenient portions, some have been quick to defend the new method. Several people have pointed out the increase in surface area afforded by vertical slicing, while others claim that it’s an ideal way to avoid accidentally overloading on a food that is famously filling and stodgy. In general, however, these dissenting voices seem to have enraged the conservative bagel mob still further.
After the release of their new bagel technique, the internet decided it was high time to teach St Louis a lesson. Using the hashtag, “StLouisstyle”, Twitter and Instagram users have entertained themselves by posting dozens of photos of hideous and indigestible mashups, such as steak and banana, and ketchup and spaghetti, to ram home the point that they feel the bagel method is both patently ridiculous and horrible. Though for now it seems unlikely to catch on, there’s little doubt that the contentious idea has helped put St Louis on the map in a way few could have anticipated.