When I was a tyke, often times my weekdays were spent at the mall with my mom, waddling around behind her as she browsed the shops — long enough to be completely bored, but not so long that she’d miss Oprah at 4 p.m.
The one thing that could always keep me smiling and satisfied on one of our excursions (Outside of a new Street Shark action figure) was a cinnamon pretzel from Auntie Anne’s. Oh, they were glorious. All that greasy and cinnamon-y goodness was a delicious distraction from the horrors of extended stays inside department stores. It was my own little escape.
As the years progressed and my mind developed, Auntie Anne’s and I grew apart. Partially because I was no longer dragged to the mall against my will and also because, well, they’re just pretzels.
I’ll say it again: They’re just pretzels.
And because they’re just pretzels, I was shocked at the crushing hype I heard in the time leading up to Auntie Anne’s grand opening in Stamp Student Union. The hype hasn’t diminished, either. There’s always a line and people can’t stop raving about these things.
According to a Jan. 31 article in The Diamondback, the shop was averaging 600 pretzels a day just 11 days after it opened. 600 pretzels a day? Students are shelling out more than $3 for a bit of dough? A sprinkling of cinnamon? That’s insane.
While I may not be a man of refined tastes, my taste buds have grown since my days as a youngster at the mall. A pretzel is a fine snack every once and a while and hard pretzels compliment a sandwich well. But a pretzel as a whole meal? You’ve got to be kidding, especially when Stamp is packed with actual food.
The kind of people that roll up to Stamp to grab lunch and consistently end up with a raisin pretzel probably have the same diet as a 7-year-old. These people are the kind of folk who you could sit down in front of a freshly made plate of chicken pomodoro, piping hot and homemade, and they would push it away. Why? Because they want buttered noodles. Offer them steak and mashed potatoes? Forget about it; they want chicken tenders.
A group of simpletons is what we’re dealing with here.
These simpletons will probably get defensively about there beloved pretzels. They’ll probably whine and ask, “Ooohh, but they have way more than just pretzels! Have you ever tried a pretzel dog? That’s not just a pretzel!”
Yes, it’s not just a pretzel. You got me there. It’s not just a pretzel, rather, it’s a combination of two mediocre foods not deserving of any hype or huge business that it’s received. It’s also something a 7-year-old would gladly have instead of sushi.
So, go on, pretzel lovers. Have your pretzels. Eat them all day, everyday, because you’ll soon tire of them and realize they are in fact just pretzels. When that happens, meet me down at Subway.
— Taylor Schwink is a senior journalism major and student blogger for The Diamondback