Illustration for article titled Auntie Anne’s DIY pretzels are a meal kit we can get behind
Photo: Auntie Anne’s

Look, we know we might sound a bit like a broken record. We’ve mentioned a lot of restaurants over the past few weeks that are dealing with COVID-19 dining room closures by releasing meal kits so customers can recreate their favorite fast food at home. So there’s nothing revolutionary about the latest meal kit to hit the market, but nonetheless, it’s the one we’re most excited to try for ourselves: the Auntie Anne’s DIY pretzel kit, which costs $20 plus shipping and contains all the ingredients to make 10 hand-rolled pretzels in your kitchen.

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The pretzel purveyor launched a test run of the kits in early April, and they sold out almost immediately. Now, they’re back for a national release. In many cases, the flaws in the meal kit model are minor but evident: a burger kit that relies on toppings you already have in your fridge, for example, or a subscription box that promises a hearty vegetarian meal but produces an unimaginative plate of zoodles.

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But how could a package of DIY pretzels not deliver what it promises? The box comes with ingredients to make both the Original and Cinnamon Sugar pretzel varieties, and the product copy seems to understand exactly what we want out of the Auntie Anne’s experience: “Make your kitchen, smell like our kitchen,” it says. “Just add butter and experience the heaven scent of Auntie Anne’s filling your home.” The appeal has always been olfactory—doesn’t the mere thought of it transport you to the mall of your teenage years, waves of dough and cinnamon scent wafting toward you from the moment you exit Journeys?—and as long as these pretzels make your house smell awesome, then this DIY kit has done its job. (Of course, if you don’t feel like paying the shipping costs and don’t require the novelty Auntie Anne’s bucket, you can always make your own pretzels from scratch, too.)

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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