Junk Food Sunday: Mallomars

One of the most beloved confections from my youth was the Nabisco Mallomars with the bright yellow box.

For those who have had them, it’s not appropriate to call the Mallomar a "cookie." If you think of it as a cookie, then what of the puff of marshmallow, not to mention you would never dunk a Mallomar! Just as a chicken is not fish, the Malomar is not a cookie.

Mallomars in the U.S. are produced seasonally at Nabisco and are only available for about 5 months, begining about October and continuing until about April. If you speak to a true Mallomar fan they try and make the season last as long as possible by freezing a supply as squirrels will store nuts for the winter, or in this case summer.

The National Biscuit Co. debuted Mallomars in 1913 at a grocery store in New Jersey. The bakery was based in New York City. Today, about 70% of the treats are devoured in the New York area.

The construction of the Mallomar is deceptively simple. A circle of Graham cracker is covered with a puff of extruded marshmallow, then "enrobed" in dark chocolate, which forms a hard shell. I’m not sure what "enrobed" as Nabisco likes to refer to them really means, but it sounds delicious.

Similar chocolate-coated marshmallow treats are produced in different variations around the world, with several countries claiming to have invented it or hailing it as their "national confection."

Mallomars have also has their time in popular culture with references by Billy Crystal in "When Harry Met Sally" and Rosie O’Donnell raving about them on her daytime talk show — both instances by native New Yorkers. Other instances have included the movies "The First Wives Club" and "Regarding Henry."

Surprisingly a search for how to make a mallomar could not be found on the Internet, but there were numerous recipes for including them in various desserts.

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