Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Homage to a Cookie


We picked up friends returning from a trip to Florida last night at the airport. Originally supposed to land at 3:30 p.m., the plane had problems followed by delays, delays and more delays. A relief plane finally landed at 10:05 p.m.

No one had eaten dinner. Knowing the plane was late, we decided to go out to dinner when the plane arrived. It was rescheduled to land at 6:00 p.m., 7:45, 8:15…and so it went.

By 10:00 p.m. we were all tired and hungry. We immediately headed for the nearest diner, which was closed.  We tried again – closed. The third try was the charm. After dinner we piled back in the car for the short ride to the weary travelers’ home.

Mr. K reaches into his bag, saying, “I brought you guys dessert.”

He slowly pulls his hand out of the bag and triumphantly raises high –

A box of MALLOMARS!


We perk up for our special treat. Diets be damned. Mallomars are special.

Mallomars are a part of our childhood. I guess they were expensive compared to other bakery items because we did not have them all the time. Or maybe our parents were smart and did not always have sweets in the house. When a box suddenly appeared we dived for our share of the treats. Any remaining cookies mysteriously disappeared overnight.

Don’t tell the FDA, but Mallomars are addictive. They do not last long. The expiration date on our box says 11 April 2012. Who are they kidding? They will not last to the weekend. If I did not hide them from hub they would not last a day.  They also have a freshness seal inside. Really, why doesn’t Nabisco save the money? I strongly doubt there are any Mallomars purchasers who keep a box long enough to need a freshness seal.

I am not sure what it is about Mallomars that make them so delicious, addictive, desirable, precious, a favorite of so many, the ultimate fun food…perfect.

Mallomars are most popular in the Northeast, especially in the New York area. The Mallomars box states “more than 70% of all Mallomars sales are generated in the shadow of the Big Apple.” The fact that our friends found Mallomars in a sea of boxes at their local grocery store in Florida attests to the fact that New Yorkers demand their favorite cookie wherever they wander.

For those unfamiliar with the cookie, as the saying goes – a picture is worth a thousand words:
Graham cracker crust…marshmallow inside…chocolate coating

Mallomars were never available in summer. Decades ago it was difficult to prevent chocolate products from melting in the summer heat as they were produced in the factory and then made their way across miles of hot countryside to warehouses, then into stores, many at the time without air conditioning.  

The seasonal pattern continues. Despite the fact that we can put a man on the moon and produce food products that last years, Mallomars remain unavailable in summer.

We live in South Jersey, a region where some food products never quite make it to store shelves. I searched online for Mallomars. I found them for sale on Amazon for $5.90 a box; four boxes for $5.07 a box. Then you have to add shipping.

I continued my online search at other major grocery chains. No Mallomars at Acme, Shop Rite, Whole Foods, Giant Foods or Albertsons. They may carry them, but no information came up on their websites for the product.

Trader Joe’s had an interesting website, but I could not find a place to key in an item and find out if they carried the cookies. The same at Pathmark – no place to key in the name of a product and find out if the store(s) stocked the item.

Wegmans carries Mallomars. I keyed in my store (using their store locator search) and the price ($4.69) of a box came up. The site also told me where to find the product in my particular store (in which aisle).  I am a Wegmans fan!  Unfortunately the closest Wegmans is about an hour’s drive.

Each Mallomars box contains 18 cookies separated into 3-cookie sections. I guess that is how many you are supposed to eat at a time. Yet the box says one serving is two cookies. A serving size, two cookies, contains 120 calories. For the nutrition-conscious each serving has 5 grams of fat, 40 mg of sodium and 18 grams of carbohydrates (including 12 grams of sugar), 1 gram of protein and no cholesterol.

Nabisco, a division of Kraft Foods, produces Mallomars. Nabisco created and produced the first cookies, which were sold in West Hoboken, NJ in 1913. They are almost 100 years old. Take note Nabisco – let’s celebrate in 2013!

Mallomars are made today in a factory in Toronto, Canada. They are apparently very similar to a Canadian-brand confection called Whippets, but I have never seen or tasted Whippets.

The seasonal availability of Mallomars has not been ignored or gone unnoticed by Mallomars lovers. Here is an excerpt from a Conan O’Brien show from 2004. 

Pierce Bernard: Recliner of Rage discusses the fact that Mallomars are seasonal.

Mallomars lovers, I leave you now to indulge my cookie craving.  

There is no love sincerer than the love of food
George Bernard Shaw

If you cannot get the video, click on the title above and view it on my blog post.





6 comments:

  1. No kidding. I thought there was not a cookie on this earth that I haven't tried. But I have never heard of Mallomars. I will have to look for them before summer is here.

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  2. Please let me know how much you love them! And thank you for stopping by.

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  3. I have heard of mallomars and I know lots of people who have your same fondness for them, but I have never cared for them that much. So...you can have my share.

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  4. Mallomars are still out there? Wow, they are the most nostalgic cookie ever. I used to smash them and pick off all the chocolate pieces, eat them, and then eat the bald marshmallow and graham cracker bottoms. No cookie is so identifiable with childhood except maybe oreos and fig newtons. I now begin my search for mallomars!

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  5. Love this blog. I grew up with Moonpies. I don't know if you could have them in summer. Probably not as it is much hotter in the South. I will have to try Mallomars. Dianne

    PS thanks for stopping by my blog.

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