Bread fight! Bread fight!

A tweet about free bread ignited an impassioned discussion yesterday. Let's hash it out here, shall we?

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Basket of fresh bread
Photo: FRANCK FIFE / AFP (Getty Images)

A free bread basket is a gift. Nay, a blessing. A carb-laden divine sanction, if you will. Personally, if I sit down at a restaurant and spy a server approaching with free bread, I immediately turn into a human pneumatic tube, pursing my lips and inhaling a huge gust of wind to suck that bread down into my gullet before it even reaches my table. But, according to one Twitter user, this practice is a little tacky.

Yesterday, Twitter user @slicksista asked: “i wanna know the truth. isn’t it very tacky for somebody to eat the free bread as soon as you get it?” She added a poll to the tweet, allowing other users to vote on the alleged tackiness of the practice. Needless to say, the query got the people going. 97% of the more than 330,000 poll respondents voted “no,” going to bat for the social acceptability of free bread. Writer Casey Johnston tweeted that she’s “grabbing the bread before the basket has even made contact with the table,” while editor Alisha Grauso took things a step further, tweeting, “In an ideal situation, I attack and maul the server for their bread like a rogue lion before they can even get to the table. I just go right for the throat, straight Ghost and the Darkness that shit like an apex predator.”

Despite the public’s ardent defense of free bread, @slicksista stuck to her guns, sharing a response that called tackiness “generational” and absolutely roasting the pro-bread respondents, insisting that “the essentials weren’t taught.”

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As you might imagine, the discussion prompted veritable hysteria over here at The Takeout. My fellow staff writer Dennis Lee compared the discourse to a B12 shot after the mere prospect of free bread electrified the entire staff. But here’s my question: immediately gorging yourself on free bread isn’t really tacky—is it?

@slicksista added that the genteel course of action is to wait five minutes before reaching for the bread. “if you that hungry you should’ve had a pregame meal,” she tweeted. But that’s plenty of time for the bread to go cold, dramatically reducing its deliciousness. Given the choice, do you choose between free carbs or social graces? And do we even have to choose? Must the two be mutually exclusive? Let’s discuss.