Appears in

Chocolates and Confections

By Peter Greweling

Published 2007

  • About
Marshmallow has a long history. Most food historians place its origin in ancient Egypt, where the mucilaginous sap from the root of the marshmallow plant was mixed with honey to create this confection. Marshmallow made in this period was reserved for royalty, for use as a salubrious dietary supplement or as a respiratory curative. Today’s marshmallow is a far cry from this early concoction. Modern marshmallow is made using sugar, glucose syrup, gelatin, and flavoring. Some marshmallow products are made using albumen as the sole aerator, and some are made using both albumen and gelatin. As opposed to the extruded cylindrical mass-produced marshmallows, artisan marshmallows are spread into a slab, allowed to set, and cut with either a wire cutter or a knife. Marshmallows formed in slabs may be either enrobed in chocolate or lightly dredged in starch and consumed without enrobing. The most common marshmallows are uncrystallized, but grained, or crystallized, marshmallows are also made. These confections contain less glucose syrup, and after they are aerated they are seeded with confectioners’ sugar to induce crystallization. Grained marshmallows have a shorter texture than those that are ungrained.