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DEAR ABBY: Why can't bakeries slice English muffins and bagels completely through? Nobody eats either one without toasting them and slicing them first.

Along the same line: Why do loaves of bread have "ends"? Everybody throws them away and they are wasted. -- MINA IN KELSO, WASH.

DEAR MINA: English muffins aren't meant to be sliced. To prepare them at their best, they should be purchased whole and the perimeter perforated using a fork so the muffin can then be torn apart before toasting. This leaves lots of irregular nooks and crannies so when they are buttered, they are even more succulent.

As to the ends of bread loaves (called "heels"), not everyone throws them away, just as not everyone cuts the crusts off. Some people enjoy the heels because they make for a chewier sandwich.

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