Manufactured Chocolate and Marshmallow Biscuits of the World Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Manufactured Chocolate and Marshmallow Biscuits of the World

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Perhaps one of the greatest inventions of the last century has been the creation of chocolate and marshmallow biscuits. Actually, that's somewhat of an exaggeration, since biscuits aren't on the same par as aircraft, space flight, the Internet, or The Simpsons. But they're still an excellent example of mankind's aspirations. Words can't really do justice to the many pleasures of eating a chocolate marshmallow biscuit; the squishy give of the marshmallow, the sweet crunch of the biscuit, or the sweet chocolate that invariably melts all over one's hand. This entry documents some of the more common varieties of chocolate marshmallow biscuits that may be found around the world for the convenience of the snack-starved traveller. For some unknown reason, these biscuits seem to come in only two forms: big wheels and small domes.

Big Wheels

The Big Wheel seems to be the most popular shape of marshmallow snack cake out there. In general, all examples of this type consist of two circular biscuits cemented together with marshmallow and enveloped in milk chocolate. The entire cookie is about the size of an open hand and a few inches thick. This was the form pioneered by Chattanooga Bakeries' MoonPies (Southern USA) in 1913 and the starting point for all other varieties. The MoonPie has become a cultural institution in the Southern USA and is often paired with a Royal Crown soda for a real tooth-decaying snack. Burton Wagon Wheels (Britain)1 date from 1951 and are available with a layer of jam between the marshmallow and one of the biscuits. They are extremely popular in the UK, with both children and adult victims of the Wagon Wheel Effect. A large supply was even found in KGB headquarters after the Iron Curtain fell - apparently it is the favourite cookie of spies. Weston Wagon Wheels (Australia) are similar in construction and also feature the incongruous Wild West theme of the Burton biscuits. Travellers to the Far East can avail themselves of Orion Choco-pies (Korea and Japan), should they become nostalgic for the cookies back home.

Little Domes

Little Domes are the other common variety of marshmallow biscuits out there. In this shape, a circular biscuit is used as a base for a hemispherical blob of marshmallow, and the entire cookie is then enrobed in chocolate. These types are much smaller than the big wheels (only a few inches in diameter) and often are sold as an assortment in a box. This makes them ideal for sharing with others or just keeping selfishly. Tunnocks' Tea Cakes (Scotland) are a popular example of this form and come individually wrapped in an antique style to reflect the company's 1890 founding date although it's unclear when the first Chocolate Tea Cake was produced though. Tunnocks' Snowballs also include a sprinkling of coconut. On the eastern coast of the USA, Nabisco Mallomars (Northeastern USA) are very popular and also the oldest known example of marshmallow biscuits; the first cookies were sold in New York City in 1913. Today, New York City consumes 70% of all the Mallomars purchased. Because they are made with dark chocolate, Mallomars are not available from April to September, since they melt easily in the heat of summer. Flødeboller (Denmark) seem to also be made out of dark chocolate, and are also found over much of the European mainland, where they are also known by the more easily-pronounced but vaguely offensive Besos de Negrita, Negerküsse, or Têtes de Nègre. They receive competition on the mainland from Dickmanns (Germany), which are also notable for their more unusual cylindrical shape. Griffins Mallowpuffs (New Zealand) have conquered the Southern Hemisphere and are a source of national pride for New Zealanders. They also have the distinction of being the most diverse of the biscuits, available in regular, caramel, and double-chocolate forms.

1This company also manufactures the extremely popular Jammie Dodgers and was recently purchased by an American conglomerate to cries of woe from the British press.

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