What if we told you that you’ve been cutting your bagels all wrong? Like all wrong.
In a video for Business Insider published earlier this year, mathematician Eugenia Cheng demonstrates a groundbreaking bagel cutting hack for optimal cream cheese schmearing. Spoiler: you will never look at a bagel the same way again.
Traditionally, we cut bagels straight down the middle, resulting in two separate halves: one with all the seasonings and a relatively plain bottom half. Cheng’s method, however, cuts the bagel in such a way that the top and bottom remain attached, while still leaving enough room to spread as much cream cheese as your heart desires.
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The method is inspired by a mathematical structure called the Möbius strip, a contoured, one-sided surface also known as a twisted cylinder. Here’s how you do it:
Start cutting in the middle of the bagel with the knife blade facing left. About half way around, twist the knife so you’re cutting in a spiral-like pattern. As you reach the place you started, your knife should be facing right and the bagel should still be intact. Now can see part of the bagel’s insides that you normally don’t get with a typical cut, meaning there’s even more space for spreads. The only downfall we see is that it’s harder to toast this way. But we’ll sacrifice a lot for a better cream cheese to seasoning ratio.
Watch Cheng demonstrate her technique in the video above.