Thursday, May 17, 2007
I was in the checkout line at Fairway Market in Harlem, picking up a couple of things for my mom . I didn't notice the huge stack of Mallomars on the shelf beside me until a gentlemen snatched up two boxes, looked at me and blurted out, "I couldn't help myself!" then walked away.
I wanted to reassure him that not only did I not judge him, I understood.
"Enjoy every bite!" I called out, then I picked up the cellphone and dialed my mother.
"Do you want Mallomars?" I asked her.
"You just hit the nail on the head!" she said. "I usually start with two boxes, then tell myself it's the last time."
Just then the man returned, looked at me again and took another box off the shelf.
"I've got my mother on the line." I told him. "Thanks to you, she's getting Mallomars today."
"Tell her to enjoy every bite!" He said, waving his hand as he walked away. I put the shiny yellow boxes into my cart.
I noticed that buying them for my mother took the edge off of wanting them for myself, because the truth is, I can't have just one, or two, or three.
When I returned home, the subject of Mallomars was virtually gone from my mind until I received an email from my friend Tai requesting I send her Mallomars right away!
What's up with Mallomars? I asked myself, which prompted me to do an internet search on the subject.
Here are a few things I learned, some I already knew to be true:
Seventy percent of all Mallomars sold are sold in metropolitan New York.
One person said about Mallomars, "Biting into one is all about love and loss and family..."
One man said he once thought they stopped making Mallomars because he'd become an atheist.
Then I came across a discussion board titled, Mallomars, Good or Evil? One outraged woman stated the amount of money spent on Mallomars alone would probably be enough to stop the Darfur crisis in Sudan.
I also read that Mallomars were a seasonal thing, that because the delicate cookie would surely not survive the east coast heat and humidity, they were only produced and distributed between the months of October and March. But I'd been standing beside a shelf full of them and it was April, so I dismissed it as folklore and decided that when I was ready, whether it be April or May, I would return to the store and buy Tai all the Mallomars her little stomach could hold.
I went back to Fairway the next day and noticed the Mallomar shelf had been taken down. I checked the cookie aisle but there were no Mallomars there either. I asked several employees, none of whom had any answers. I approached a cashier.
"I can't find Mallomars," I said. "I heard a rumor they stop making them in warm weather. Can that be true?"
"That's ridiculous!" he replied. "What you probably heard was that we just bring them into the cold room during warm weather, so they won't melt."
I felt reassured but still, he couldn't locate even one box.
Finally I found a manager and asked for help.
"Oh," he said. "They won't make Mallomars again until October."
My heart sank. I thought of Tai's disappointed face.
"But there's a Canadian alternative," he continued, "And they're really good."
Resigned, I took two boxes of Canadian Whippets off the shelf and put them into my cart.
At least I won't be contributing to genocide, I thought. And I know Tai will appreciate that.
Or will she?