“Never for very long,” I replied. “The girls and I would devour them pretty quickly.”
Ed was reading about the 100th birthday of the chocolate-marshmallow cookie being celebrated this year by Kraft’s Nabisco division and the cookie’s devotees. I’m sure we would have offered him one and been happy when he turned it down. Each box contained only eighteen cookies after all. The thin dark chocolate shell encases a soft marshmallow and the cookie it sits upon. Some sources say it’s a vanilla cookie, others a Graham cracker; it requires further research. In the meantime, I learn that Mallomars® are seasonal, arriving on supermarket shelves in the fall and disappearing in the warm weather, even though refrigerated trucks no longer necessitate this precaution. It just adds to the cookie’s cachet.
But poor, deprived Ed grew up ignorant of snack food delicacies like Mallomars®. Also Hostess cupcakes and Sno Balls®, Devil Dogs®, Twinkies®, Ring Dings®, Ding Dongs®, Yodels® and the rest, not to mention the entire panoply of candy bars. “We didn’t have those things in my parents’ house,” he says. Well, we didn’t have them in my parents’ house when I was growing up either, but somehow I became aware of them and developed a lifelong sweet tooth. Also a mouthful of fillings. Ed, with his near-perfect teeth grew up in Colorado where fluoride occurs naturally in the water, and is not much interested in sweets. I, on the other hand, grew up drinking pre-fluoride New Jersey tap water and only stopped getting cavities when there was no longer any undefiled tooth surface. Life is not fair.
There was consternation earlier this year among those of us aficionados of snack cakes when Hostess went out of business. The company made those wonderful chocolate cupcakes with cream fillings topped with dark chocolate frosting and the readily recognizable white icing squiggle. For me, an even bigger loss was going to be the company’s Sno Balls®, cream-filled chocolate cake surrounded by marshmallow icing covered in shredded coconut. They came in a variety of colors depending on the season but a person in the New York area with a birthday on St. Patrick’s Day could pretty much always count on getting Sno Balls® in green. Thankfully, another company purchased Hostess, and the cakes continue.
My daughters do occasionally remember to indulge their mother’s addiction. On one significant round-number birthday, we threw a big party and invited many friends. There was a decorated cake from a bakery for the guests, but also a special snack cake pyramid for me: Hostess cupcakes, Ring Dings® and Sno Balls® artfully stacked on a crystal cake plate. My foodie friends looked in horror at the masterpiece. “You don’t actually like that stuff, do you?” they said.
Yup and had a wonderful time all the next week working my way through the largess.