You know it’s fall/winter when those bright-yellow boxes of Mallomars start showing up on local supermarket shelves, which they’re doing now.
For the uninformed, the seasonal (October through April) cookie is a round of graham cracker topped with a mini-mound of marshmallow and then “enrobed” in pure dark chocolate. Which means the chocolate is poured over the cookie. Mallomars can be found at most supermarkets for around $5 for an 18-cookie box. The sweet little pillows are unique in taste and texture; don’t be fooled by imposters.
As for history: About a century go, the National Biscuit Co. (later Nabisco) debuted Mallomars at a grocery store in New Jersey. For decades the cookies were strictly regional, and largely still are (most are sold in the greater New York area), even though Nabisco is owned by food giant/distributor Kraft.
Why aren’t Mallomars available year-round? Nabisco says it’s because the pure chocolate is so heat-senstive that they’re baked only in the cooler months. That is, the heat and humidity of summer can interface with the transport and storage of chocolate. Melting is possible, as is discoloration. Hmm. But what about refrigerated trucks and warehouses?
A more realistic explanation: Each fall, the national media hold words-and-pictures homecoming parades when Mallomars return, welcoming back a cultural icon, If the chocolate were to be chemically stabilized for longer shelf life, the annual hoopla (such as this post) would melt and Mallomars would become just another cookie.
But let’s not think about all that. Instead, let’s knock off another box. Got milk?
Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128. Follow him on Twitter @apierleonisacbe.