Oct 05 2010

Swiss Mallomar Discovery!

by at 2:41 pm

On Sunday night, we had dinner with Adar and visiting Israeli friends.  The friends’ 1.5 year old son, who was happily scarfing down swiss chard (yeah!  a child after my own heart!), was distracted from that glorious vegetable when his dad pulled a box of Schaumkuss out of Adar’s fridge.  I had never seen these things before, or if I had, it was only out of the corner of my eye in Migros.  If a Swiss junk food item hasn’t made it to a choir reception, chances are, I haven’t eaten it.  I decided to try one of these round chocolate thingies, and lo and behold!  I had just bitten into the Swiss version of a mallomar!  It was unmistakable, despite lack of graham cracker, a more bullet-rather-than-patty-like shape,  and a less marshmallowy interior.

Somehow, mallomars and chocolate soda go together in my memory of early childhood visits to my grandparents’ house in Plainview, Long Island.  I usually forget that mallomars exist until I happen to be around when my dad pulls out a box which he has carefully stockpiled during their seasonal appearance in Livingston, NJ,  never to eat himself but to gift to my grandfather or uncle who can’t get mallomars where they live.

We quickly got into a heated discussion of Schaumkuss, mallomars, and the Israeli delight, krembo, that reminded the Israelis of Schaumkuss, and which are also seasonal.  We discussed the differences, like the fact that mallomars are graham cracker and marshmallow, but krembos are taller and made of biscuit and whipped egg whites.  Despite these differences, they all somehow seemed to be the same weird food.  Apparently we are not the only ones who think there is a connection to be made.  See wikipedia here.  It’s like some kind of fried dough seems to make its appearance in many, many, food cultures (donuts in the US), mallomars also apparently come in many varieties in a wide range of food cultures.  Who knew?  Are they really that good?  And who knew that they originally had such terribly racist names in many places?

New dissertation topic?  “The Mallomar as the Embodiment of Racist Western Culture: from Denmark, to the Americas, Switzerland, and Israel, 1800-2010.”  Sounds good, right?

Incidentally, I plan on making that ingested Schaumkuss (translates as “foam kiss”) my first and last Swiss Mallomar experience.  So, no need to worry, Dad, you still won’t have a mallomar-munching daughter.

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