Mallomar, the Seasonal, Interactive, Pop Culture Cookie

Every Fall, I look forward to eating my favorite cookie, the Mallomar, a marshmallow dome sitting on a cookie about the size of a half dollar coated with chocolate. It’s the first seasonal food I had eaten in my life — seasonal in that they are only available October through March because the chocolate — real chocolate — would melt in warm months.

Sally Schneider

Recently I was talking with a dear friend of mine who is 90 years old. When I mentioned my obsession with Mallomars she said, “I love Mallomars! One of my favorite memories was when I was first married. I put Mallomars in the refrigerator and couldn’t wait to eat them”. She didn’t know they were still made. I sent her three boxes. (Mallomars are available via Amazon.) I can’t wait to see her response when she gets her surprise.

amazon.com

Every Mallomar aficionado has their own way of eating a Mallomar. When I eat them, I press my thumb on top and gently press the top of the chocolate shell until it crunches under the pressure. Then I slowly peel each bit of chocolate off the marshmallow dome before eating the marshmallow and last, the chocolate-coated wafer. But there are many other ways…

Mallomars 2

…Some people like to eat the chocolate-coated marshmallow first, and then the chocolate wafer, as a kind of bonus. Some like to view a Mallomar as a tiny cake and cut it into wedges. Some press two Mallomars together and gobble a giant splice. Then there’s slicing them horizontally to get an extra slice of marshmallow. If you put one on a little plate in a low oven for half an hour, it becomes S’more-like, best eaten with a spoon.

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

A friend and I imagined how good Mallomars would be floating on hot chocolate, a café latte, or even a milk shake but didn’t know if they would float. So I tested one in a glass of water, and sure enough, it floats. Great possibilities there.

Mallowmar float test

This year, Mallomar joy rose to a whole new level when I introduced the cookie to two 5-year-olds I know. They were thrilled by this “interactive cookie.” Their faces lit up with excitement when I went through my ritual and taught them the possibilities for eating this landmark food.

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

Every year I can’t wait for Mallomars to arrive back in the stores. It is my favorite cookie by far. I’m now in my mid-fifties and have tasted the finest chocolate in the world yet I still get excited waiting for this cookie to arrive. It’s a uniquely 1960’s childhood chocolate taste whose experience changes with the particular way you eat them.

While the weather is still cold, I highly recommend enjoying Mallomars. If you can’t find them in your local store, you can order them from Amazon. They make a stellar gift.

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

Fern Berman

Editor’s Note: There are truly endless ways to eat Mallomars, as we discovered once we set out to photograph them and one idea led to another. We ate A LOT of them. The chocolate is REAL — no garbage or waxy stuff in that coating.

In the course of our research, we uncovered a trove of cultural references to Mallomars (found on a Mallomar chatroom and unfortunately unattributed):

Mallomars are mentioned in at least two episodes of The Golden Girls. On one occasion, Blanche tells the other girls to just tell her their bad news so she can get hysterical and eat a box of Mallomars. In another episode, Rose interjects during a discussion on literature, mistaking Malamud for Mallomars.

Mallomars are mentioned in The Sopranos episode, “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” Tony has arranged a secret meeting with Paulie, who asks “I do something wrong?” Tony replies, “Sunday, my house, box of Mallomars on the counter?”

In act one of The Odd Couple, Oscar Madison offers Felix Ungar some chocolate Mallomars while trying to cheer him up after Felix and his wife break up.

Mallomars are featured in a moment of the feature film When Harry Met Sally… (1989). A forlorn Harry watches TV on New Year’s eve with a box of Mallomars, referring to them as “the greatest cookie of all time”.

Mallomars add local color to Wally Lamb’s coming-of-age novel She’s Come Undone.

Mallomars are mentioned on an episode of The Simpsons. Ned Flanders, during his final breakdown, in which he personally and wickedly insults every major character on the show, turns to Clancy Wiggum, the town’s obese, incompetent police chief, and informs him, “The last case you got to the bottom of was a case of Mallomars!”

Mallomars are mentioned briefly on Family Guy. Peter Griffin “sold his soul once in 1977 for Bee Gees tickets and then again in 1983 for half a Mallomar.”

Mallomars are mentioned in at least one Seinfeld episode.

In an episode of Roseanne, Roseanne Connor (Roseanne Barr) discovers a box of Mallomars as she is just beginning a diet. In a 1991 episode entitled “Home Ec” Roseanne takes Darlene’s Home Ec class on an educational shopping trip to the supermarket and the patron ahead of them in the check-out line is buying vodka, mallomars and a TV Guide. “I’m thinking single, and staying that way” Roseanne comments to the girls in reference to the pathetic gentleman.

Mallomars appear briefly in the WB series Felicity episode “Todd Mulcahy: Part 1.” Todd sends Felicity a care package filled with art supplies and Mallomars. Then, in “Todd Mulcahy: Part 2,” Felicity tearfully finds comfort in a Mallomar after Todd gets hit by a speeding bus.

Mallomars appear in Gilmore Girls; Lorelai receives traditional birthday Mallomars every year from her daughter Rory. Also in one episode Rory pins a message for Lorelai to Mallomars because that way Lorelai is bound to find them. In another episode, Rory and Lorelai are seen eating Mallomars after Rory has a bad date.

Mallomars are mentioned in Regarding Henry, the 1991 movie staring Harrison Ford and Annette Bening. They were Henry’s (Harrison Ford’s character) favorite treat before he suffered from retrograde amnesia as a result of being shot multiple times.

Mallomars are shown during an episode of “The Nanny” when Fran comforts Maggie concerning a breakup.

Mallomars are mentioned during the Conan O’Brien skit “Pierre Bernard’s Recliner of Rage”, where Pierre complains about the inability to get Mallomars during the summer months.

5 Responses to Mallomar, the Seasonal, Interactive, Pop Culture Cookie

  1. gallagher 03.06.2019 at 8:01am #

    “….but didn’t know if they would float. So I tested one in a glass of water, and sure enough, i….”

    And this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics goes to….!

    🙃

  2. gallagher 03.06.2019 at 8:02am #

    “….but didn’t know if they would float. So I tested one in a glass of water, and sure enough, i….”

    And this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics goes to….!

  3. antonia 03.06.2019 at 8:35am #

    We, too, are BIG fans of Mallomars. Both of us since childhood. Now we buy them in LA when we visit our children and grandchildren. We stock up during our annual January/February visit and this year brought back 4 boxes. We cannot find them here in Ohio.

    We are “traditionalists” and bite through them. Both of us like them slightly stale, however. They are literally the best cookie in the world, so no surprise that they are cult.

  4. ellen rocco 04.07.2019 at 2:59pm #

    Hi Sally. I am now in my mid-seventies and how you eat them is exactly how I eat them except I eat the chocolate edge around the wafer before eating the wafer. A number of years ago, I taught a class in Buffalo, NY made of up 12 5-9 year olds who whose behavior prevented them from being in a regular classroom. I loved these kids dearly. They had pretty difficult home lives and it was as though they were saying “no, I will not fall between the cracks. Deal with me”. One day, I mentioned Mallomars in class and not one of the kids had heard off them. I knew this was something I had to rectify! Mind you, these were kids who had great difficulty sitting still and very little patience. I showed them the boxes of cookies, assuring them that there were plenty enough to go around and said that I would demonstrate how to eat one. We passed out paper towels and I placed a Mallomar on each one, warning them not to touch it till I had shown them the procedure. You can just imagine the effort that took from each of them but I figured I might as well turn it into a practice session in self-control. I also told them that there would be seconds, maybe even thirds if they could wait. I then proceeded to demonstrate the whole process just as you described. Not a kid moved! Then, I said ok now open your hand and place the Mallomar on your palm. Next, use your thumb to gently depress the top and then, with your tongue, lick the chocolate off being careful not to eat any of the marshmallow. So far so good. I can assure you this was one of the VERY few times they could sit still this long. Then I said, ok, suck out the marshmallow, then nibble the chocolate around the edge and finally, eat what’s left. I don’t know who was prouder – they or me. The next round, they did the process on their own without direction and on the 3rd cookie, I said they could eat it anyway they chose. I think I am remembering correctly that almost all of them followed the practiced steps.

    I can truly say that to this day, many Mallomars later and as good as they are, none have ever tasted quite so good as those I shared with my kids. I so know what you

  5. Sally Schneider 04.10.2019 at 8:32pm #

    Dear Ellen, THAT is the BEST Mallomar story I have ever heard. Thank you!

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