How long have marshmallows been around?
I'm going to be honest, it was 9pm and I didn't know what I was going to doodle. I needed a question, and since I'm fishing anyways, it needs to be nice and easy. Enter Marshmallows. I would seriously like to know what could beat out marshmallows for least scary item on the planet. And, to top it off, the answer to my question was pretty straight forward ... not much sifting through sources to discover which site might be telling the "truth"... which was a nice little bow.
Marshmallows have been around for ages... since the Ancient Egyptians discovered the gooey substance around 2000 B.C. in fact (I was not expecting marshmallows to have been around that long)! The goo was found in the roots of the mallow plant... found growing wild in the marsh... Too easy right? It's not an arbitrary name, they are actually named after the plant and the location it could be found. Mallow is native to Asia and Europe, and has been naturalized in America.
The Egyptians would squeeze sap from the mallow plant and mixed it with nuts and honey. However, no one knows what the candy looked like in those times.
The French were introduced to marshmallow in the early to mid-1800s. Owners of small candy stores whipped sap from the mallow root into a fluffy candy mold. This process was typically done by hand and was time-consuming. 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. This system 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 which 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.
Today, Americans are the main consumers of marshmallows. According to experts, Americans buy more than 90 million pounds annually. Marshmallow is considered a year-round snack even though the majority is sold during October and December.
It's wild to think marshmallows have been around nearly 4000 years, granted, not the same "marshmallow" as it started, but a marshmallow all the same. Do you like marshmallows? Do you have a favorite marshmallow recipe?