Marshmallows belong to the category of fluffy whipped confections and are made from sugar, egg whites, a gelling agent, as well as flavorings and colorings. In Germany, Marshmallows are also commonly known as “Mäusespeck”.
Especially in the USA, Marshmallows are highly popular. They are used, for instance, during Thanksgiving to adorn side dishes such as sweet potatoes or similar items. Before consumption, they are often heated on a grill. Naturally, you can also skewer the Marshmallows on a long stick and grill over an open fire.
Production of Marshmallows
Originally, Marshmallows were made from the sticky juice of the roots of the marsh mallow plant. This plant is also the namesake of Marshmallows. The marsh mallow plant belongs to the mallow family. The term "Marshmallow" roughly translates to “marsh mallow.”
Before French confectioners discovered the culinary potential of the marsh mallow root, European physicians used the plant to create a type of cough syrup. In France, the extracted marsh mallow syrup was used to produce lozenges intended to alleviate (irritating) coughs. The French bakers, on the other hand, combined the sticky elements of the marsh mallow root with additional ingredients like sugar and whipped egg whites. This gave rise to the so-called “Pâte de guimauve”, considered a precursor to today's Marshmallows.
Later on, the production of Marshmallows began to use gum arabic as a sort of foam stabilizer. A Marshmallow recipe from the year 1895 explains how Marshmallows could be made. In this process, gum arabic had to be soaked in water until it dissolved. The dissolved gum arabic then needed to be strained to remove impurities. The dissolved gum arabic was heated over a pot of boiling water with some powdered sugar and stirred until the mixture became thick and white. The mixture was then taken off the heat, and stiff egg white foam was incorporated. This contributed to the airy texture of the Marshmallows. Finally, the Marshmallow mixture was flavored with some orange blossom water. The mixture was poured into a pan covered with cornstarch, creating a layer about 2.5 cm thick. After waiting for about twelve hours, the mixture could be turned out onto a board and cut into equal-sized squares. These squares were sprinkled with more cornstarch (or alternatively powdered sugar) – and thus the Marshmallows were ready.
It was only in 1954 that American entrepreneur Alex Doumakes invented an extrusion and cutting process that reduced the production time from 24 hours to just one hour.
Today, for reasons of cost, Marshmallow production often uses gelatin instead of gelling agents.
American Heritage Tip: For those looking for a completely gelatin-free and thus 100% vegan option, try the delicious Dandies Marshmallows - definitely worth a taste!
Grilling Marshmallows – Doing it Right
Of course, you can enjoy Marshmallows as a small, sweet snack on their own. Yet, grilled Marshmallows are nearly irresistible and possess a unique flavor. It's not surprising that during the summer grilling season in the USA, approximately every second Marshmallow ends up on the grill.
For this reason, we want to show you how to achieve the perfect Marshmallow on the grill and what you should definitely keep in mind:
- Preferably take 1-2 Marshmallows and place them on a long skewer or a grill fork
- Hold the skewer about 20 cm above the heat source (e.g. grill or fire)
- Ensure that you don't place the Marshmallows directly into the flames
- Rotate the skewer evenly until all sides turn golden brown
- Let the Marshmallows cool down a bit
Enjoy your meal! By the way, we believe the Mega Marshmallows from Rocky Mountain work best for grilled Marshmallows.
S’mores – The American Marshmallow Recipe
S’mores are a genuine campfire classic from North America. They are so popular that August 10th is officially celebrated as “National S’mores Day” in the USA. S’mores typically consist of Graham Crackers, Hershey's Chocolate – and of course, Marshmallows. The latter are grilled over the fire as described above or heated until they caramelize. The warmed Marshmallow is placed between two Graham Crackers along with the chocolate. In Germany, original Graham Crackers are hard to come by, so you can use alternative cookies. Similarly, for Hershey’s chocolate, you can easily substitute with regular milk chocolate.
Products related to Marshmallows
We, too, at American Heritage are big fans of grilled Marshmallows. In our shop, you'll find not only Rocky Mountain Marshmallows in various sizes but also other products related to Marshmallows. For instance, we offer the scented candle “Cashmere & Cocoa” from Kringle Candle. The unique and gentle scent of Marshmallows, cocoa, and vanilla indulges your sense of smell in a sensual manner.
If you prefer the taste of Marshmallows over the scent, we recommend “Hot Chocolate & Marshmallows” from Stonewall Kitchen. This mix includes small, soft Marshmallows that perfectly complement the rich and robust chocolate flavor. Truly delicious!
Another true highlight is the Vanilla Flavored Marshmallow Cream from Toonie Moonie, made in organic quality. This Marshmallow cream comes from an American family business and is a real vanilla dream. The fluffy, spreadable Marshmallow cream is best enjoyed with crackers, cookies, and ice cream – it also pairs excellently with golden toast!
Even during Christmas, you can express your special love for delicious Marshmallows. The sweet Christmas ornament “Hot Cocoa Cup with Marshmallows” is undoubtedly a real highlight on the Christmas tree. The red cup filled with cocoa and Marshmallows undoubtedly draws all eyes and is a genuine eye-catcher.