The In-N-Out debate is the great divider of friendships. Even the most edenistic office environment devolves into a sour shouting match at the first mention of disappointing french fries, instantly pitting otherwise friendly coworkers against one another. Alliances are drawn, feelings are hurt, “animal style” is mentioned, and in a poetic embodiment of the restaurant itself, nobody leaves satisfied.
The unnecessary battle between California pride and basically anyone else who’s eaten a halfway decent fast food burger rages even more frequently on social media, an unquenchable source of fiery hot takes resulting in immeasurable snark and at least a handful of muted Twitter accounts. Why? Because just knowing cheeseburgers are amazing isn’t good enough anymore — we have to know what’s best, and to declare all else hopelessly inferior. We need to prove someone wrong, or to prove ourselves right.
We need to win.
This logic is precisely how Cache Valley became the epicenter of an entirely new, even more nonsensical argument — where do you get the very best chocolate chip cookie?
For those unaware, two companies with nearly identical products and business models recently overtook Aggie ice cream as the most talked about dessert menu item in the valley. Baked and Crumbl each offer the convenient delivery of colossal cookies in a neat little box directly to your door. You’d think this would be a harmonious time for the student body, what with Logan’s icy winter fast approaching and warm freshly-baked (or freshly…crumbling?) cookies just a phone call away.
But no, instead this has to be a duel of deliciously doughy desserts. Brand loyalty is everything to us here in the valley — Pepsi versus Coke, Costa Vida versus Cafe Rio, the one soda place versus that other soda place, fry sauce versus living past age 45, you get the idea. Unfortunately, there’s just no way of knowing where your friends and coworkers fall. Maybe an Instagram post here or a boring snap story there reveals a box of the UFO-sized delicacies as each brand uses a different color, but generally you’re on your own to tread lightly until a conversation unveils a friend’s true allegiance.
You’d think a simple taste-test would solve the whole thing. Which cookie is better? Shouldn’t this be an easy equation to solve? What a sweet solution that would be. Alas, ‘tis not so. Why do you think the lede to this column teased the zeal of the In-N-Out faithful? It’s never that straightforward — after all, someone has to win.
So how do we decide? Do we forgive Crumbl for its crimes against the english language? Do we take Baked’s tongue-in-cheek allusions to drugged cookies as a refreshing sign of self-awareness from a business designed to be a super effective way for students to satisfy the munchies? I mean “cookies with a higher purpose”? Come on, that had to go through a few rounds of approval, don’t tell me that’s an accident. Both have a great product. Both come in boxes of four. Both are probably too expensive. Both…they just…it’s cookie delivery, there’s nothing complicated about it, right?
And so the current scenario arises, each fledgeling business working feverishly to generate social media buzz and create exotic flavors to keep up with this delectable fad before it fades. Would that we could simply declare a tie and ourselves the victors, beneficiaries of a new and exciting way to put on holiday weight before crowding the ARC to max capacity in January.
Instead, the debate will live on. Once-unified offices will divide. The simple joy of eating a cookie the size of your face will slowly lose its luster. My only hope is that one day we will all look back at this debate and laugh as we eat our free samples — and argue about burgers.