Ask anyone and they will tell you that hockey moms (even moose-hunting ones) and Joe Six-Packs are not, generally speaking, foodies. So imagine our surprise when we opened the mailbox the other day and found a Zingerman’s catalog with what appeared to be a smirking Sarah Palin on the cover. Zingerman’s, the Ann Arbor–based super-foodie mecca and source for everything from $8.50 jars of peanut butter to Basque pipparas peppers isn’t, after all, the Wasilla 7-Eleven.
Upon closer inspection, however, everything became clear: This was no Sarah Palin, but a Sarah Palin look-alike. The Zingerman’s cover girl, it turns out, was Katrina Markoff, the zany founder of Vosges Chocolate (two Manhattan locations) who had recently collaborated on an exclusive line of gourmet caramels with the cult catalog. The caramels, by the way, are flavored with exotic — some might go so far as to say liberal elitist — ingredients like anise myrtle, sun-dried Sicilian tomatoes, and Parmigiano-Reggiano with Tellicherry pepper. They took a year to develop, according to the catalog, and none, appearances to the contrary, involve moose jerky or any kind of elk byproduct.
“We’re calling it the Palin cover,” said Zingerman’s Mo Frechette. “When we drew it five months ago, no one knew who Palin was. Neither did we.” And how’s it going over? “Customers are ringing us about it all the time. Katrina thinks it’s hilarious. I’m going to frame one for her and sign it ‘You are a maverick.’”