Marshmallow is a candy that is made from gelatin and sugar or corn syrup. Marshmallow the root herb, has been used for more than 2,000 years as both a food and a medicine. The Romans, Chinese, Egyptians, and Syrians used marshmallow as a source of food, while the Arabs made poultices from its leaves and applied them to the skin to reduce inflammation. Both the root and leaves contain a gummy substance called mucilage. When mixed with water, it forms a slick gel that is used to coat the throat and stomach to reduce irritation. It is also applied topically to soothe chapped skin.


Other names: Marsh-Mallow
Translations: Zefīrs, Zefyras, Zefire, Bijeli slez, Ptasie mleczko, Heemst, Проскурняк, الخطمي, 마시 멜로, Ibišek, Halaman ng masmelow, 棉花糖, Malví, Ibištek, מרשמלו, Бели слез, マシュマロ, Guimauve, Malvavisco, Проскурняк, Vaahtokaramelli, Градинска ружа

Physical Description

The marshmallow is a confection that, in its modern form, typically consists of sugar or corn syrup, water, gelatin that has been softened in hot water, dextrose, and flavorings, whipped to a spongy consistency

Colors: white but occasionally they are colored with food dyes in bright pink and green hues.

Tasting Notes

Flavors: sweet
Mouthfeel: Chewy, Soft, Delicate, Puffy, Sweet and sugary
Food complements: Crisped rice, Nuts, Sweet potatoes, Salty pretzels, Peanut butter, Chocolate
Beverage complements: Milk, Tea, Coffee, Hot chocolate
Substitutes: Marshmallow creme, Corn syrup

Selecting and Buying

Choosing: Most of the current brands of commercially available marshmallows in the United States are made and copacked by Kraft Foods and Doumak, Inc, under such names as Jet-Puffed, Campfire, Kidd and numerous "private label" store brands. Marshmallows are used in S'mores, Mallomars and other chocolate-coated treats, Peeps, Whippets and other sweets, Rice Krispies treats, ice cream flavors such as Rocky Road, as a topping for hot chocolate and candied yams, and in several other foodstuffs.
Buying: S'mores are made by placing a toasted marshmallow on a slice of chocolate which is then placed between two graham crackers. Some companies mass produce pre-packaged S'mores.
Procuring: manufacturers devised a way to get around this by using egg whites or gelatin, combined with modified corn starch, to create the chewy base. This avoided the laborious extraction process, but it did require industrial methods to combine the gelatin and corn starch in the right way

Preparation and Use

The process involves running the ingredients through tubes, and then extruding the finished product as a soft cylinder, which is then cut into sections and rolled in a mix of finely powdered cornstarch and confectioner's sugar. A popular camping or backyard tradition in North America and the English-speaking world is the roasting or toasting of marshmallows over a campfire or other open flame. A marshmallow is placed on the end of a stick or skewer and held carefully over the fire. This creates a caramelized outer skin with a liquid, molten layer underneath.

Conserving and Storing

If you freeze a bag of marshmallows, they won't end up a sticky mess or go stale when defrosted — they'll be just like new. Dust the marshmallows (all sides) with a generous amount of powdered sugar.


The use of marshmallow to make a candy dates back to ancient Egypt, where the recipe called for extracting sap from the plant and mixing it with nuts and honey. (Another pre-modern recipe uses the pith of the marshmallow plant, rather than the sap. The stem was peeled back to reveal the soft and spongy pith, which was boiled in sugar syrup and dried to produce a soft, chewy confection.)[

History: It seems likely that the marshmallow first came into being as a medicinal substance, since the mucilaginous extracts from the root of the marsh mallow plant, Althaea officinalis, were praised as a soothing remedy for sore throats. Concoctions of other parts of the marshmallow plant had medical uses as well.
The use of marshmallow to make a candy dates back to ancient Egypt, where the recipe called for extracting sap from the plant and mixing it with nuts and honey



Related Cooking Videos