I hadn’t eaten Subway cookies prior to University. I do believe they have always been on the menu, but I know I never dared to try them. I didn’t actually eat out at Subway too much either. There was no Subway close to home, and I think even when it did open, I only went there because a friend of mine thought it was the only place we could hang out on our side of town. Plus, it was the only thing near our house at the time that qualified as “fast food”. With a Sub of the Day option that cost only Rs. 100 for a 6 inches Sub, I didn’t think you could really go wrong with it.
I had heard a lot about Subway generally. My aunt had told me how when she went to America and the UK for the first time, it was one of the only affordable, consistently-good, Western, vegetarian meals available. Given my recent visit to America, and looking at portion sizes over there – the number of vegetables they put in your order means that you can save up your lunch Sub and have the rest for dinner as well, making it even more economical.
So naturally, I come to University and I find out that Subway is one of the closest fast food outlets we have to campus. In my first semester though, I didn’t have a card (I was a minor then, and we weren’t fully informed of how minor debit cards worked). So for the duration of that entire semester, my mother had given me cash – and I kept accounts and track of that cash to manage through. I made one trip home that semester, and my mother generously gave me more cash, but the fact that it was all liquid money and I wasn’t sure when an emergency may arise, meant that I spent very little.
I came back in my second semester wielding a debit card, but because of an overload of work, I didn’t really go out too much that semester. In fact, my mother visited me just after my mid-semester exams that year, just before I had a moot memorial submission. We stayed next door to the Subway, and while my mum revelled in eating from all the other restaurants in the vicinity, I asked her to treat me to a Sub in the room one day.
My third semester was when I actually began going out. I visited Subway more frequently, and developed a bit of a rapport with the owner of the Subway franchise near campus (he’s still there). I eventually rounded up on my standard order of a footlong per meal (one I’ve cut down this semester to a six inch Sub), but stumbled upon the cookies because of his sales technique. He had literally baked a fresh batch when I walked in and the chocolate chunks smelled delightful wafting through the air.
I’ve fallen in love ever since. It is now physically impossible for me to eat at Subway without ordering cookies. Even one cookie (although I have been known to eat three). They are delightful. They’re quite large, so there’s value for money, there are a lot of chocolate chips in every bite, and man, they heat it in front of you so the chips/chunks melt to gooey perfection. This one time I remember I ordered everything for takeaway and consumed 3 cookies on a 10-minute autoride from the Subway back to my campus because I couldn’t control myself.
In all honesty, they are extremely unhealthy when consumed in such amounts and frequency, which is why I have had to cut back on my consumption of them. However, they are remarkably consistent. I ate Subway in Switzerland, and in the Netherlands, and in Dubai: ordering the same cookies in all three Subways. They tasted exactly the same (the Swiss ones were better because they had a “dark” chocolate chip cookie), but my oh my. Wow.
I have forged friendships based on a mutual love for the cookie. One of my close friends in third year had accompanied me on a rainy day to collect laundry from infocity (where the Subway is located), and I remember making a pact with her that we’d take a trip to the Subway every semester. Unfortunately, circumstances have meant that neither of us have lived up to the pact, although for a while we ensured we bought each other cookies from Subway whenever we visited. Circumstances now mean that that pact will require a lot of resurrection.
Thankfully though, there is no shortage of individuals on my campus who revel in Subway cookies as much as I do. Today, I was able to make one of my friends’ afternoons, by gifting them, as a surprise, some fresh maal (if you will). His joy is not something you can put into words easily. The true test was yet to come though, and upon a physical inspection of the cookie, he accessed the microwave in the hostel, heating the cookie up to gooey perfection before consuming it in front of my own eyes.
I’m not a strong proponent of having strong brand preferences, or becoming a brand salesman. It’s why I avoid buying t-shirts that have company graphics on them (like Supreme, or Levi’s). Truth be told though, it’s impossible for me not to advocate that everybody consumes a Subway cookie today.
The chocolate in the cookie is not too sweet, yet sweet enough to tingle your tastebuds into desiring the chocolate chip. The chocolate chips are heavenly. The cookie’s texture when at room temperature is crumbly perfection. When warm, you will be transported to another land.
Try one today.