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The Great Bagel Debate: Slice Horizontally Or Vertically?

KORVA COLEMAN, HOST:

If you ate a bagel this morning, I have one question for you. Did you slice it vertically or horizontally? Now, it may sound like a crazy question, but it's been the focus of much conversation this past week. No, really. That included some strong words from the host of "The Daily Show," Trevor Noah.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE DAILY SHOW")

TREVOR NOAH: Are you kidding me? Are you - you know what? As a New Yorker who's adopted this city, this boils my blood. Come on, man. You don't bread-slice bagels.

COLEMAN: That's right - a bagel sliced like a loaf of bread. And there's one man to blame for this controversy.

ALEK KRAUTMANN: (Reading) Today, I introduced my co-workers to the St. Louis secret of ordering bagels bread-sliced. It was a hit.

COLEMAN: That's Alek Krautmann reading the tweet he posted along with a picture of two boxes of bagels. Each bagel inside is sliced vertically multiple times. So what's his excuse?

KRAUTMANN: I think it's better for sharing and snacking, and I guess that's why we do it. I don't know.

COLEMAN: Krautmann traces this back to the St. Louis Bread Company, which is known in every other part of the country as Panera. We went straight to the source and called up Sara Burnett, Panera's vice president of wellness and food policy.

SARA BURNETT: That's how we used to sample bagels. So we'd have a new flavor, we'd pass them around as a bread slice. So it's a nice, little, easy, dippable slice of bagel. And that started in St. Louis because we started sampling in St. Louis.

COLEMAN: Little did she know that would lead so many to take a bite of this action. The chief of detectives of the New York City Police Department weighed in and thanked his Twitter followers for reporting bread-sliced bagels as a crime. The mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, tweeted, St. Louis, we're really worried about you. Give me a call. It's about bagels. One thing is undeniable - any way you slice it, people love their bagels. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.