Philadelphia Cream Cheese Now Making Stuffed-Crust Bagels, But There Is A Catch

Philadelphia Cream Cheese is now making stuffed crust bagels, but you can only buy them from their partner H&H Bagels in New York City.

By Tori Hook | Published

stuffed-crust bagels

In the U.S., we’ve got an obsession with foods stuffed with cheese: stuffed-crust pizza, mozzarella sticks, cheesy breadsticks—you name it, we’ll find a way to stuff it with cheese. Pizza Hut’s invention of the stuffed-crust pizza in the 1990s changed both pizza and our love for cheese-stuffed food forever and put cheese pulls on the menu. Now Philadelphia Cream Cheese and New York City bagel shop H&H are making what could be the next revolutionary cheese-stuffed food: stuffed-crust bagels.

The news has been met with skepticism by many consumers, though, by lovers of cheese-stuffed goods and native New Yorkers, who are known for being especially particular about their bagels. One of the joys of a stuffed-crust pizza is the gooey, melty cheese pull you get once you reach the crust; it’s hard to imagine that cold cream cheese would have the same effect. The process of making a stuffed-crust bagel is like that of a jelly donut: bagels are cooked, cooled, then hollowed in the middle with a pastry tool and stuffed with cream cheese.

For those who don’t live in New York City, it might be hard to imagine why an invention like the stuffed-crust bagel would be necessary or even wanted. After all, slicing and spreading cream cheese on a bagel are not difficult tasks—but in New York, those tasks will cost you at the local bagel shop. New Yorkers are very familiar with what’s called the bagel tax, the added tax at the bagel shop for getting your bagel sliced and schmeared.

In New York some food products, including baked goods like bagels, are tax-exempt, but prepared foods, on the other hand, aren’t. Bagels become taxable when they are anything other than the baked good itself; any preparation—even just a slice and a schmear—makes them taxable. H&H and Philadelphia Cream Cheese developed the stuffed-crust bagel as a way for the bagel shop to work around the prepared foods tax—and create a stir while doing it.

Though consumers might be right to be dubious of the new stuffed-crust bagel, this isn’t the first time the bagel has been stretched to new limits—with great results. From the rainbow bagels fad to icon of the millennial childhood, Bagel Bites, people have been innovating with bagels for decades. Even popular coffee stop Dunkin’ sells cream cheese-stuffed bagel bites, so the idea isn’t entirely new.

The stuffed-crust bagel is only the most recent in a string of questionable products and pairings by big brands, like Kraft’s Velveeta Martini, Pepsi’s Peeps soda, and even Heinz’s purple ketchup, a less fondly-remembered product of the millennial childhood. But amid all this wild imagination and culinary invention, though, no one has forgotten the simple bagel’s beginnings: sliced and schmeared with cream cheese. According to CNN Business, H&H’s Manhattan locations will be offering the cream-cheese stuffed bagel at least until Tax Day, April 18, as well as online, so try it before you knock it!