Before you freak out, give bread-sliced bagels a chance. Although it may look strange to newcomers, bread-sliced bagels represent a beautiful moment of genius where delicious bagel meets easy proportions.
This trend was born out of St. Louis, Missouri, the hometown of The Tylt's Politics Editor, Cait Bladt. Bladt explains why bread-sliced bagels are the right choice:
"Bread slicing a Panera bagel MAKES SENSE. They give you a lil' cup of cream cheese. If you have a traditionally sliced bagel and you gotta drive yourself to high school and you smear that cream cheese on half a bagel, and–GOD FORBID–it falls on your lap, you've got a full tragedy on your hands. But if you're using lil' bread-sliced bagel slices, you can dip and scoop as you see fit!
Bread-sliced bagels are no different than french toast sticks. In the same way, bread-sliced bagels are much easier to manage and can handle maximum toppings with little mess.
As should be expected, others are horrified by the idea of butchering perfectly good bagels in such a grotesque way. The New York community in particular–ever-proud of its bagels–was decisive: A bagel should be sliced through the middle and only through the middle. Anything else is a sin.
Never fear, St. Louis! Bladt is back with more logic. She adds to her argument:
"If you have a topping on a bagel—Asiago cheese, cinnamon crunch, etc.—conventional bagel slicing does not give you an optimal eating experience. You end up with one skinny top with all the toppings and a stupid bottom. Bread slicing, on the other hand, gives you a more rounded experience."
Bread slicing not only maximizes toppings, it maximizes the flavor profile of the bagel. When you order a bagel that has a topping, you don't want that extra flavor to be over after you eat the top half–you want it to last, and it should. Bread slicing makes that possible. Panera knows, and it rewarded its bread-slicing apostles.
But some St. Louis natives disagree. Slicing a bagel multiple times (or many multiples of times), results in more exposed bread, which will ultimately make the bagel-now-sliced-loaf become stale much quicker.
Bagels should only be sliced through the middle. There's no need to change something that has worked since the beginning of time.