NutMallow, a sweet for the season, provides a special sugary synergy

janet's world

December 21, 2008|By Janet Gilbert | Janet Gilbert,Special to The Baltimore Sun

Though tonight is the first night of Hanukkah and we're just four days shy of Christmas, it's not too late for you to order some "NutMallow" to ring in the recession properly.

After all, nothing says "Let's forget about the nightmare of 2008" like a decadent candy treat that comes in a full-fledged loaf that you can slice and serve to your guests. Its very appearance on your table will impart hope because it will be a visual reminder of American ingenuity and greatness. And excess.

Frankly, only Americans could dream up this sort of candy-delivery system. As a matter of fact, it comes directly from the heartland of our great nation.

This makes sense to me. Picture a classic farmhouse, its kitchen table overflowing with festive cookie platters and homemade pies. In your Norman-Rockwell-inspired imagination, is there a dainty box of fancy, take-only-one Belgian chocolates? Surely not! But I'm pretty confident there's a loaf of NutMallow somewhere on that table, probably two. Because NutMallow comes as a 2-pound pack. So let's all just belly up to the table and cut us a hunk. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we diet.

A few years ago, our family was given some NutMallow from Malley's Chocolates in Cleveland as a hostess gift. It seemed a curious confection. Right there, on the box, it proclaimed it was a "loaf." While we were familiar with meatloaf - and certainly comfortable with the loaf concept as it applies to bread products - this was our first foray into the "loaf of candy" notion (unless you count the much-maligned fruitcake, which is often presented in loaf form).

But the NutMallow candy is as cloud-like as the fruitcake is earthbound. The mellow NutMallow melts mellifluously in your mouth. Try saying that five times fast.

NutMallow is described on the Malley's Web site ( www.malleys.com) as follows: "Decadent waves of sweet mallow meet Malley`s sensational dark chocolate and crispy-crunchy walnuts in our classic NutMallow loaf."

You might say NutMallow reminds you of the Mallomar cookies your mom used to put in your school lunch bag as a special treat, only I wouldn't because my mom used to buy all our snacks at the day-old thrift bakery goods store on Long Island. For years, I couldn't understand the lure of a hard, chewy marshmallow atop a dry, tasteless graham cracker cookie enrobed in waxy chocolate.

But my point is that perhaps NutMallow is similar to a fresh Mallomar, but I wouldn't know. All I can tell you is that, considered individually, marshmallow and walnuts and chocolate are tempting. But shaped into a loaf, well, there is evidently some sort of sugary synergy that occurs. One bite, and I was hooked.

It makes me wonder if other holiday staples might not be improved by going to the loaf format. It's already been attempted, with some success, in the slice-and-bake cookie category. But wouldn't it be convenient to purchase an evergreen loaf, one you could simply slice into individual, identical wreaths for each window of your home? These are the things I ponder while I savor a slice of NutMallow.

At any rate, there is simply no holiday cheer in Janet's World this season unless we've got some "loaf," as we've fondly nicknamed it, on hand. If you pop over, we'll slice you some loaf, if there's any left. The Malley's Web site hints at this eventuality: "Devotees can't get enough NutMallow."

The thing is, with the loaf, you can convince yourself you're not really eating loads of candy -you're simply having a slice. And maybe just one more. There's really no sense of a reasonable portion. Suddenly, you've got only a wedge left. Is it possible you've single-handedly consumed a loaf of NutMallow, and are beginning to resemble the product?

You sweet, nutty loafer, you!

Happy holidays.

To contact Janet or hear podcasts, visit http://www.janetgilbert.net.

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