Where on earth do you buy Mallomars

Matmail:

Mallomars? Where on earth do you buy Mallomars? The last box I saw, I bought; and that was at the Big Bear supermarket on Governor Drive in University City in 1981. I will drive to Spring Valley, I will buy them mail order, I will buy them over the Internet-- where are you getting them??!

-- Greg Eberley, chocolate junkie, Encinitas

Had no idea that dropping the Mallomar name would be a life-changing event. But have you lost your mind, Greg? Spring Valley? You do realize that's not only east of I-5, it's south of I-8? Jeez. I didn't know North Countyites were even allowed to go there voluntarily. If you're willing to make that kind of geographical sacrifice, you really do love Mallomars, so I'll take pity on you even if Nabisco won't. The magikal Mallomar is only a rumor in some parts of the country. Like Sasquatch and real maple syrup. Folks hear about them but have never actually touched one. A tale told by wistful Easterners. To bored Westerners.

If you're a bored Westerner, Greg and I want you to know that Mallomars are a sublime treat. A round graham cracker cookie, a mound of airy marshmallow, a toothsome shell of real dark chocolate. When RJR Nabisco isn't wrestling with their tobacco-investment headaches, they're nurturing the Mallomar mystique. Oh, they're too perishable and meltable to send just anywhere, they say. The chocolate is real. No wax. No hardeners. No additives to keep them from turning that weird gray color. Close to 80 percent are sold in the Northeast. Or in places where there are a lot of ex-Northeasterners-- L.A. and Miami, f'rinstance. And San Diego, too, for a while. Chicago didn't even get Mallomars until last year. Sez Nabisco, the cookies require special shipping, special handling; they can't be warehoused for years like cereal or crackers. So Nabisco's selective about where they're sold. San Diego apparently fell off the regular distribution list at some point. And no matter where you live, you won't find the cookies on the shelves between mid-March and late September. It's too hot for the delicate flower that is a Mallomar, so they don't even make them.

The name of my Mallomar connection would do you no good. He only works on personal referral, and I've never heard of you before, bub. But I'll do the next best thing. If your local groceterium won't/can't special order them for the holidays (some claim they can), grab the plastic, dial up the friendly Nabisco lady (1-800-NABISCO), and order them yourself. The cost may test your dedication: one case minimum, that's 12 boxes, for $51.18(!), which includes postage and the always huge, mysterious, unavoidable "handling," whatever that is. Now there's a righteous Matthew Alice question for you. Do shippers pay a bunch of big guys $30 an hour to pass your package back and forth and slap their grubby mitts all over it? That's the only possible explanation.

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