December 7, 2023


Choosing the right battery for your Ford

What Is a Scooped Bagel? For Starters, Controversial

3 min read

Let’s be clear: All bagels are great. (Except plain bagels—like…live a little for once.) But a chronic problem, as any regular bagel eater knows, is over cream-cheesing. There’s often an inch-thick layer of cream cheese between your slices of bagel, and it gets squeezed out on your first bite, covering your fingers and generally making a mess. A scooped bagel avoids that problem. “But what about the doughy to crunchy ratio?” You ask. What about it? There’s still plenty of soft, springy inside to munch through in a scooped bagel. No bagel shop has ever scooped a bagel into a completely two-dimensional object devoid of its doughy interior. In fact, I’d argue that the dough-to-crunch ratio is improved; you can experience the crackly crunch without the overwhelming gumminess of too much inside. Lastly, full-sized, un-scooped bagels make me straight-up sleepy. Once I eat that amount of carbs in one sitting, I am done for the day.

If you’re still not convinced, you should know some important people are on my side: Friends era Jennifer Anniston for one. And also Bethenny Frankel. Okay, you know, seeing it all laid out in print like that, maybe I’m not helping my case.

When I asked my colleagues if they preferred their bagels scooped or unscooped I knew I was in for a whirlwind of Slack notifications. Nearly every response was anti-scoop. Here’s a sampling of how the Bon Appetit team feels:

“Scooping bagels is for people who hate themselves. The doughy part in the middle is the best. Why would you want to remove it?” —Zoe Denenberg, associate editor cooking and SEO

“Scooping bagels is a crime. What’s the point of getting a bagel? it’s like ordering a pizza and then only eating the crust and removing the rest.” —Julia Duarte, designer

“I don’t scoop my bagels but I truly see nothing wrong with the practice from a ‘respect the bagel’ perspective. It’s more an issue of practicality for a busy bagel line.” —Adam Moussa, associate director, social and visuals

“I am anti-scoop because if that’s what you want, you should just get a bag of bagel chips and a tub of cream cheese” —Carina Finn, commerce editor

That’s basically an unanimous anti-scoop front. Still, I’ve never been afraid to be the only one with a controversial opinion—I also think ketchup is gross, sorry—despite the vitriol that may be tossed mercilessly my way. As the noted philosopher Lady Gaga once said, there can be 100 close-minded anti-bagel scooping coworkers in a room and 99 of them don’t believe in you, but all it takes is one and it just changes your whole life. In these divisive times, I hope we can focus on our similarities rather than our differences. If there’s one thing we can all agree on, for example, it’s this: The ungodly way that Tyra Banks prepares her bagels should be made illegal.

If you aren’t convinced by my perfect and unimpeachable arguments, that’s okay. Sometimes I go for an unscooped, too—like when the line is long and the bagel guy is stressing. But I respect that some people just want an unmarred bagel, and that’s their right. Incidentally, if you’re wondering what happened to Offer, the incendiary bagel scooper, he’s doing just fine. He got his gluten-free scooped bagel—down the street.

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