Corn syrup, starch, sugar, and water are mixed with gelatin. The fluffy mixture is piped through long tubes and then cut into equal pieces. Then we skewer them and burn them over the fire or drop them in our hot chocolate. Yes these are marshmallows, and yes it is spelled this way not “marshmellow”
The word “marshmallow” comes from the mallow plant species, a herb native to parts of Europe, North Africa, and Asia which grows in marshes and other damp areas. The plant’s stem and leaves are fleshy, and its white flower has five petals. It is not known exactly when marshmallows were invented, but their history goes back as early as 2000 BCE. Ancient Egyptians were said to be the first to make and use the root of the plant to soothe coughs and sore throats and to heal wounds.
The first marshmallows were prepared by boiling pieces of root pulp with honey until thick. Once thickened, the mixture was strained, cooled, then used as intended.
The French were introduced to marshmallows in the early to mid-1800s. Owners of small candy stores whipped sap from the mallow root into a fluffy candy mold. This time-consuming process was typically done by hand. Candy stores had a hard time keeping up with the demand. Candy makers started looking for a new process to make marshmallows and found the starch mogul system in the late 1800s.
It allowed candy makers to create marshmallow molds made of modified cornstarch. At this same time, candy makers replaced the mallow root with gelatin and this created the marshmallow stable form. Marshmallows were introduced and popularized in the United States in the early 1900s after the new manufacturing process was developed.
In 1948, Alex Doumak revolutionized the process for manufacturing marshmallows. He created and patented the extrusion process. This process involves taking the marshmallow ingredients and running it through tubes. Afterwards, ingredients are cut into equal pieces and packaged. In the 1950s, marshmallows became extremely popular in the United States and were used in a variety of food recipes.