What Is the Correct Way to Eat a Cinnamon Roll?

Photo: Gary He

On Friday, a picture came along that threatened to tear apart the staff of the Cut: South Bend mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Peter “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg attempting to eat a cinnamon roll like a raptor devouring its prey.

The photo is from an Eater article titled “The Pete Buttigieg Campaign Trail Diet,” and was shared on Twitter by American Bridge state legislative research director Liz Charboneau, who wrote, “I don’t care what your politics are, it is illegal to cut a cinnamon roll into pieces with a knife and then eat it like a chicken wing.”

Charboneau’s tweet was dropped into the Cut’s Slack channel by beauty director Kathleen Hou, who will have to answer for her actions in another life. What ensued was an illuminating conversation about food, form, prophylactics, morality, and how to reach a political consensus.

Rachel Bashein, managing editor: So, what’s the correct way to eat a cinnamon bun?

Katie Heaney, senior health writer: Unroll it and eat it like a Fruit By the Foot.

Matthew Schneier, features writer: Wrong. Cut it into quarters, then eat it as you would an apple slice, wedge by wedge.

Madeleine Aggeler, writer: No, you unroll and tear it apart with your fingers.

Izzy Grinspan, deputy style editor: There’s no wrong way to eat a cinnamon roll.

Rachel: Incorrect, Mrs. Switzerland, only one can survive.

Madeleine: *Chanting* Fruit By the Foot. *pounding desk* Fruit By the Foot!

Matthew: They’re not called “cinnamon unrolls.” Teeth must travel through layers of pastry. They’re made by smearing the ventral side of pastry with a cinnamon/sugar/butter mix, which is then rolled, so you can enjoy the benefit of it without the mess of it. By unrolling, you are removing the prophylactic layer of un-cinnamoned pastry that is there to protect your hands and garments.

Katie: The word “ventral” should not be a part of cinnamon roll discourse.

Matthew: Katie, I thought you were the science editor.

Katie: No, I am health. And I say: Fruit By the Foot.

Allison Davis, senior culture writer: I prefer to eat just the center, and then lick the frosting off the lesser bits. The center is the softest and most flavorful part. Eat the heart, forget the rest!

Matthew: That is like saying the best way to eat a gusher is by boring a hole in it, the better to get its juice onto your pristine white shirt.

Izzy: It also depends on the amount of frosting, as I have learned from being married to a man from Kenosha, Wisconsin, where cinnamon rolls look like this:

Photo: Izzy Grinspan

Callie Beusman, news editor: I feel like that would be flagged for deletion if it were posted on Instagram.

Allison: My teeth are hurting just looking at it.

Matthew: Do I have to write a dissenting opinion like every liberal Supreme Court justice from 2020 until the apocalypse?

Madeleine: The Correct Way to Eat a Cinnamon Roll Is to Eat a Whole Jar of Frosting.

Bridget Read, writer: Wait! The Fruit By the Foot thing is demonic! Bakers roll those, you heathens!

Claire Lampen, writer: And then we unroll them! In a long pastry strip!

Madeleine: Something rolled is meant to be unrolled, like a love letter on an old scroll.

Stella Bugbee, editor-in-chief: Contingency: If they are doused in frosting, then cut and eat with a fork?

Rachel: Depends who’s watching.

Allison: I think the real trick is just to make bite-sized cinnamon rolls so it’s like just eating the center in one li’l bite, over and over.

Stella: Allison you’re so smart! Like donut holes, but cinnamon buns. Bunitos.

Allison: BUNITOS. Now I quit magazines to sell bunitos and make millions.

Madeleine: I do worry that a bite-sized cinnamon roll wouldn’t make me feel like I’m going to die, which is part of what I want from my cinnamon roll experience.

Izzy: Everyone is right, but Allison is most right.

Callie: Okay, actually I agree with that. Fruit By the Foot the outside, and then eat the heart.

Stella: A compromise!

Allison: If only politics were like cinnamon-roll eating.

Madeleine: This is why women should be in charge.

What Is the Correct Way to Eat a Cinnamon Roll?