Apparently, San Franciscans can't handle their cookies
- the advertisting campaign that we told you about last Tuesday has been pulled
. And you know it's because those homeless people kept going to City Hall, asking for cookies. Ahhhh, if only they'd made the cookies smell like Jingles.
Speaking of Jingles, sometimes1
I check the magic Sitemeter to see who is visiting the wonderful land of Poofygoodness, and I've noticed recently a spike in the number of people who have come to the Goo in search of Jingles, a.k.a. "Santa's Favorites", according to some people from the very fine city of Madison
For those of you who don't know, Salerno Jingles are tasty anise cookies sprinkled with red and green sugar, shaped like bells, stars, and candy canes that come in a green cardboard box. The only come at Christmastime, which, of course, makes them special in a commercial, manufactured sorta way, and therefore a staple of many a midwesterners' childhood. Since I've moved to DC, I haven't been able to find them, nor have my other flyover-country friends- they're not something you can buy on Amazon, say like, milk (read the reviews!)
. Googling them only leads the intrepid web searcher on a wild goose chase to forums of people asking where to find Jingles. I tried googling the parent company, Salerno, but the company is shrouded in mystery. According to BakingBusiness.com
, Salerno Cookies was part of an ambiguous larger acquisition of the Mather and Archway food groups by a corporation called Parmalat in 2001. There is no Salerno website, and the Parmalat website
looks more interested in looking European than being involved in any sort of cookie baking. The site refuses to disclose any information about its underling companies, insisting in a pop-up window, "Sorry, we are updating this area. " FOR THREE YEARS???
And so, Jingles have become this sort of midwestern myth to tell wide-eyed DC naifs: "Yeah, at Christmastime in Chicago, we eat these anise flavored cookies called Jingles with milk that comes from jugs that they didn't even bag at the grocery store, and this cold white stuff falls from the sky so we don't have to go to school!" They're an enigma to East Coasters, and nowhere to be found come Christmastime, thus diminishing happy childhood memories of my brothers shoving me to get to the Jingles first, then calling me fat when I finally
got one of my own, at which point I would throw a screaming temper tantrum, at which point my brothers would punch me2
From the very beginning of Poofygoo, we have been at the forefront of the most pressing cookie issues. In one of the inaugural posts3
last year, we whined about how we couldn't find Jingles (much like the whining in the precedng 'graph), and therefore how Christmas was just a little less Christmassy. As a result of this post, when you google "Salerno Jingles", Poofygoo comes up as the first heading. With great google power comes great google responsibility, so I felt an obligation to the tubes of the interweb to investigate. Fortunately, we do not have to stomach another Christmas sans Jingles: dear Reader, there is hope
I went straight to the source: The Dominick's grocery store where my mom shopped when I was little. On the Dominick's website, they have this nifty little store locator- you know, the standard put in your ZIP and we'll tell you where to go. I just wanted to find the phone number of the Dominick's on Glenview Road, but when I enetered 60025, it returned a store address on "Patriot Drive".
WTF? I realize it's been quite a while since I've been back to the good old G-spot, but last time I was there, there was no "Patriot Drive." Streets had proper WASPy names like Elm STreet, Linden Leaf Lean, and White Flight Road- names befitting of a North Shore4
suburb. Patriot Drive? It just doesn't work. When I was growing up, you showed your patriotism by buying a minivan and slapping a yellow ribbon on it; street names were reserved for titles that would make the wayward wanderer ponder the idyllic charm of the village.
Oooh, wanna do something fun? go to google maps, and check out the satellite images from 60025. Does any one zip code really
many golf courses?
Jingles hunt, right. Sorry to slow you down.
In any case, I called up this Patriotic Dominick's and spoke with Debra, a very friendly and helpful clerk. When I ask my non-flyover country friends if they know about Jingles, they look at me as though I'd just asked them if they enjoy eating tofu at Thanksgiving5
. Debra knew immediately exactly what I was asking for, and went to search her stock. When she came back on the line, she asked, "You're the one looking for the cookies, right?"
"Yes," I replied, trying not to get my hopes up.
"The come in a green box, and they're shaped like bells, stars..."
"...AND TREES!" I finished for her.
"Yes, we have them," she replied. Reader, pay attention, for what she said next is highly important."They're no longer called Jingles, though, they're called Santa's Favorites."
It makes perfect sense. Of course they would change the name to Santa's Favorites, because how could they be anything but
Santa's Favorite? They're everyone's
favorite. Everyone just doesn't know
"Yes, yes! That's them!" I cried.
"Great, I'm glad we could accommodate you," Debra replied. "Should I set a few boxes for you when you come in next?"
My heart sank. "Well, no, I'm actually out in Washington, DC. Can you ship them to me? Please? They don't have them here, and you know how Christmas is without them."
Debra paused. "No, I don't think there's any way we can do that. Do you have any friends living nearby who could get them for you?"
"Not really," I replied. Midwesterners still living in the Midwest and not suffering from a deficit of Jingles just don't understand. I tried to plead on behalf of the larger community, "Are you sure there's nothing you can do? See, I run this blog, and people read it trying to find information on Jingles, and if you could ship them to me, it might be really good for your business." I hoped Debra would not think too hard about the the fact that the larger community would not actually benefit from my writing about eating Jingles from Debra. I also prayed she woulnd't ask how many people actually read my blog.
"No, we really don't ship things; we're just not equipped for that sort of thing."
The tears stood in my eyes7
But just then, Debra came through with the sort of heartwarming act that embodies the spirit of Christmas. "I could give you the name of the company we by them from, and you can try working with them!"
In an instant, hope was rekindled.
"Here you go. It's the Archway Mothers Company6
. You can call them at 1.800.272.2537."
In my haste, I almost forgot my manners. "Thankyouverymuchyouvebeenveryhelpfulokbye." My fingers couldn't dial the numbers fast enough. After an interminable amount of time spent holding and being shuffled through the various departments of Archway Mothers, Andrew K. came on line.
"Can you tell me where you distribute Santa's Favorite Cookies on the East Coast?" I asked.
"Thank you for calling Archway Mothers, we value your patronage and your question is important to us," responded Andrew K. and the other voices in his head that warranted referring to himself as an "us". "The Santa's Favorite cookies are one of our most popular products, and you can find them at any location that sells fine Archway products!"
"Oh," I replied, "Well, I've been living in Washington, DC for the past three years, and I've looked all over for them- no one seems to have even heard of them. Can you tell me where specifically I can find them?"
Andrew K. paused, unsure of how to tackle a question not covered in the Archway Mothers Customer Service Handbook. "Ummm, well, no, I can't actually tell you that, since we actually sell our cookies to our distributors, who then sell them to the stores. I can look up a list of the stores in your area that carry Archway Mothers products. "
"That would be perfect!" I cried, expecting a list of out-of-the-way specialty grocers that sell Jingles alongside old-fashioned milk bottles filled with a few precious ounces of milk from the
teats of three day-old goat kids from a free-range, organic farm above the Patagonian treeline.
Andrew K. paused, then came back with the magical list; the keystone to the Jingles. "Let me se here... It looks like the stores in your area that may carry Archway Mothers are Safeway, Giant, and SuperFresh."
"What?!" I said incredulously. "I've already been to those stores! They dont' have them! They don't even know what I'm talking about!"
Andrew K. was clearly ready to be done with the conversation. "I'm sorry, that's the best I can do. You can talk to the managers at those stores and ask them to buy our Santa's Favorite cookies from our Christmas line. Can I help you with anything further today?"
"No," I grumbled.
Andrew K. chirped, "Thank you for choosing Archway Mothers, and may I take this opportunity to wish you a very happy holiday season!"
And so, dear Readers, I turn to you. As you may have heard, there is a war going on. A War Against Christmas. Let us SAVE Christmas by coming together in goodwill to ask our supermarket managers to buy Jingles. Because if there's anythign I've learned from this, buying stuff makes Christmas better. Oh, and don't forget to call them by their new codename, Santa's Favorites. I promise Baby Jesus will thank you. And if he doesn't, well, I'll buy you a spiked eggnog in hell. And that's a pretty close second.
Every hour on the hour. Seriously, 36% of visitors so far today were looking for info on Jingles.2.
To be fair to my brothers, if I had had to listen to me, I would have punched me too.3.
Before we bothered to title posts and seperate them, if you really want to see the post from last year, go here and scroll down down down...4.
Despite the fact that there is no shoreline whatsoever in Glenview, save for possibly the moat around the North Shore Country Club to keep out the riffraff, the Glenview Chamber of Commerce still really likes to pretend they're as snooty as their genuine North Shore neighbors, Lake Forest and Kenilworth.5.
I know this look because I have asked that question. Yeah, that's something you only do once. People do not joke around about their turkey.6.Archway Mothers?
How was I supposed to have figured out that they're one company? Please people, I'm not Kai Ryssdal
Free box of Jingles to whoever can identify who wrote that line. I'll give you a hint: it's from my favorite Christmas story.