Wait, what is a scooped bagel? Inside the LA vs. New York debate dividing foodies.

Forget the bagel debate over cream cheese vs. eggs, sweet vs. savory or plain vs. everything. There’s a new conversation to be had – to scoop or not to scoop?

It’s been framed as a quintessential “LA vs. New York” argument, reignited late last year by a Los Angeles-based TikToker who posted his experience asking for his usual order – a gluten-free scooped bagel – at a New York deli.

“Dude, I’m not scooping your f---ing bagel, bro,” was the response he got, according to the video.

So what is a scooped bagel and where does it come from?

Want your bagel on the lighter side? Some prefer a "scooped bagel."
Want your bagel on the lighter side? Some prefer a "scooped bagel."

What is a scooped bagel?

A scooped bagel is a bagel with the insides removed, leaving less dough and more of that crunchy bagel exterior. For some, the inside doughiness is the best part but for others, it adds unnecessary calories or messes with the dough-to-cream-cheese ratio.

Both sides have passionate champions.

One comment with just under 50,000 likes reads: “I imagine a scooped bagel is like ordering a muffin and only eating the wrapper.”

“Without its majestic fluffy core, a bagel isn’t even a bagel anymore; might as well eat a salted flatbread and punch yourself in the face,” Jeremy Schneider wrote for NJ.com wrote in 2023.

But one Bon Appetit writer argues the opposite:

“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,” Bon Appetit's Sam Stone writes. “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.”

In a behind-the-scenes clip from “Friends” in the 90s, Jennifer Aniston also admitted she was a fan of scooping her bagels after her co-stars made fun of the habit.

“I don’t like chewy, I like crunchy. Try it,” she says in the clip.

The origins of the scooped bagel are murky. One New Yorker interviewed in the New York Post noticed the trend popping up around the early 2000s. Bon Appetit speculates it actually began in the late 90s with low-carb diets.

Are scooped bagels healthier?

Scooped bagels are lower in calories and carbs than regular bagels because they have less of the actual bread product.

But eating a whole bagel can fit into a healthy diet just as any other bread product can in moderation, experts previously told USA TODAY.

“It comes down to just looking at how it fits into what you’re eating on a regular basis,” registered dietitian nutritionist Jill Weisenberger said. “Some bread is going to be configured to anybody’s diet, it’s just a matter of quantity.”

What is the healthiest bread? One is best, but you've got options

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What is a scooped bagel? It's no schmear campaign, some really like it