When I saw this item on the Today Food website, I smiled and wanted to know more. Described as a "bread bowl glove for winter iced coffee drinkers", it simulates the kind of bread bowl Panera serves its delicious soups in. But this is where the resemblance ends. It is really a kind of mitten with a hole in the top to hold your coffee and one on the side to slip your chilly paw in.

That is when the latent detective came out in me. I immediately called one of our local Panera's to inquire as to when this fun winter product would be available. The reaction I got from the Sioux Falls Panera associate I spoke with, could be described as less than enthusiastic.

I honestly think that she thought I was pranking her. I went on to explain where I got the information and she was completely unaware of the item, seemed very anxious to end the phone call, so I did.

I then did some further investigation and found that the item was only available through a contest supposedly sponsored by Panera. I went to the website (IcedandToasty) that was indicated and signed up to win one of the 450 bread bowl gloves that will be given away.

Seeking to know a lot more about this fun little bread bowl glove, I called Panera's corporate headquarters, (yes, I'm that person) to pursue my line of inquiry. I spoke to "Ashley" whose response was remarkably similar to our local Panera rep.

However, she did speak to a supervisor, then came back to me and denied that Panera had any involvement. I explained to her about the contest, that it was described as a Panera sponsored event, and every detail displayed there.

This time, her response was a long silence, followed by the statement, "Well there's a lot of stuff out there on the internet!" in a very annoyed tone, followed by, "Panera has nothing to do with it." I thanked her, hung up, and pondered the information I had received.

I then checked out the Official Rules of the Contest and there under the third rule I found this information in black and white:

3) Sponsor and Administrator: The Sponsor of the Promotion is Panera, LLC, located at 3630 So. Geyer Road, St. Louis, MO 63127. The Administrator of the Promotion is Fooji, Inc. located at 257 E. Short St. Suite 200, Lexington, KY 40507.

This is obviously a case of the bread mitten on one hand not knowing what the bread mitten, on the other hand, is doing!

Or, I just unknowingly gave my name and address to a spammer in Poughkeepsie who's using my credit card to purchase a year's supply of Doritos and beer!

Sources: Today Food and Iced and Toasty

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