Mallomars: Why Many Chocoholics Can't Wait Until October

When Mallomars make their appearance, consumers stock their freezers

Countless writers have tried their best to do justice to the luscious virtues of Mallomars. Even The New York Times devoted a story to Mallomars – “The Cookie That Comes Out in the Cold” -- in December 2005.

But perhaps the best homage to Mallomars was paid by writer King Kaufman, who wrote, in Mallomar Memories: “Mallomars. Say it with me: Mallomars. They sound exactly like they taste. Sweet, soft in the middle Mallomars, rolling on the Mallomars tongue Mallomars. All rounded corners and smooth glass brown chocolate Mallomars. Yes I said yes I will Yes Mallomars. Mmmm. Allomars.”

Hearts Aflutter and Freezers Full

Indeed, Mallomars appear almost magically each October and almost exclusively in New York. In fact, 70 percent of the Mallomars distributed by Nabisco end up in New York, presumably because it had its origins in the New York-New Jersey area.

The yellow cellophane wrapped boxes begin appearing on the end-of-aisle displays in my neighborhood grocery store, piled high in an iconoclastic display that sets consumers’ hearts aflutter and reminds us to make room in the freezer for the boxes we hoard to get us through the warmer months.

October Through March

Mallomars are re-introduced by Nabisco to salivating consumers in October and then usually disappear in mid-March. To keep Mallomars from going soft in warm weather, the Canadian factory that makes them halts production in March and resumes in September.

Some Mallomars aficionados love the limited availability, while others say the seasonal schedule is way behind the times. Nabisco, meanwhile, apparently enjoys the public’s anticipatory fascination with Mallomars so much that it has kept the cookie seasonal for years.

How to Eat Mallomars

Most Mallomars lovers wax poetic about how to eat the tiny cookies, which come 18 to a box. Mr. Kaufman writes that there are only three "officially sanctioned" ways to eat Mallomars: "biting off the marshmallow part and saving the graham cracker for last (superior method); biting off the graham cracker and saving the marshmallow part for last (dorsal method); and biting into the cookie like regular food (lateral, or standard, method)."

An American Icon

As an American icon, Mallomars are such an important part of our culture that they were featured in Wally Lamb’s novel, "She’s Come Undone" and in the Nora Ephron film "When Harry Met Sally." Satirist Stephen Colbert compared Washington, D.C. and its racial makeup to a Mallomar during the 2006 White House Correspondents' Dinner.

Mallomars have also played a major role on broadcast prime-time TV, "appearing" in episodes of The Gilmore Girls, Roseanne, Seinfeld and The Simpsons. In an unforgettable scene in The Sopranos, Tony Soprano scares the daylights out of Mafioso friend Paulie when he accuses him of pilfering his box of Mallomars.

In case you don't know, Mallomars are about the diameter of a silver dollar, and consist of a small marshmallow sitting on top of a round graham cracker. The whole thing, as Nabisco puts it, is "enrobed" in a hard chocolate coating.

Each serving – two Mallomars -- has only 110 calories, five grams of fat, 12 grams of sugar and 35 milligrams of sodium. Mallomars haven’t changed their look or their composition since 1913.