Frosted sugar democracy: Biting into Milwaukee’s presidential “cookie polls”
- Teams to watch at this weekend’s WFTDA Roller Derby Championships
- Nick Sanborn explores collaboration, playing well with others with Lend Me Your Voice
- Drinking our way through Milwaukee’s airport (and airport-themed) bars
- Cinco de MONDO LUCHA! Milwaukee’s alternative variety show celebrates five years of masked mayhem
- The A.V. Club’s guide to the 2013 Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival
With a large, yellow arrow directing Lincoln Ave. traffic from afar, the signage outside Grebe’s Bakery more resembles that of a 1950’s drive-in diner than it does a fourth-generation, family-owned bakery. But it wasn’t the promise of cheap burgers and colas that had us abruptly hitting the brakes, but the words “PRESIDENTAL COOKIES ARE BACK AGAIN” proudly arranged on the marquee.
The sales staff at Grebe’s seemed a little suspicious of our barrage of questions, but they got a little chattier once they began ringing up a sale of four of the famed “Presidental Cookies.” The treats are your run-of-the-mill frosted sugar cookies emblazoned with an edible image of either a GOP elephant or a Democratic donkey encircled respectively with red or blue icing. We were told that the specialty goodies have been made available “every election—at least since Reagan,” meaning the sentence “Would you like a Bob Dole cookie?” has actually been uttered.
We were so piqued by Grebe’s presidential cookie promotion in part because there’s something similar going at C. Adams Bakery, nestled inside the Milwaukee Public Market, which boasts, “As the election heats up, so do our ovens!” C. Adams styles its cookies a little bit differently. Instead of the ergonomically sound round shape, C. Adams cookies have been stamped with elephant and donkey cookie cutters, and each glazed a deliciously patriotic red, white, and blue. Yes, there are a fair amount of fragile and consequently headless animal cookies making their way into lunch boxes and onto party trays this election cycle.
What makes C. Adams’ so-called “cookie poll” so delightful is the fact that they tally the number of both “Obama” or “Romney” cookies sold and post the totals for all to see on a daily basis. Last week Wednesday, a running total of 470 Obama cookies had been sold, trailed by 279 total Romney cookies.
Is C. Adams’ “cookie poll” a fairly accurate means of predicting which way the cookie will crumble next Tuesday night? Be warned that both bakeries have reported that a fair amount of customers buy rival party cookies as a joke for their loved ones—or their nemeses.