Marshmallow

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Miniature marshmallows

Today's Marshmallow is a sweetened, whipped substance used in cooking and eaten by itself. It is composed primarily of a sweetener (Sucrose, dextrose, and/or Corn Syrup), gelatine, and egg albumen. This mixture is cooked at about 240 °F (115 °C), whipped to two or three times its original size, and flavored with Vanilla Extract or other flavorings. Depending on the ingredients and preparation, the product will either be solid or a semi-liquid. Solid marshmallow is commonly used to make the barrel-shaped marshmallows which are often toasted over fire. Semi-liquid marshmallow is used primarily in marshmallow cream, such as Durkee Mower's Marshmallow Fluff®. This cream is used in various cooking, including icings, fudges, and sometimes puddings.[1] It is also marketed for consumption as-is, for things like peanut butter sandwiches.

Corn syrup replacement of cane sugar

Sweet marshmallow was originally sweetened with cane sugar. In recent years, this has been replaced with corn syrup, which has caused a number of complaints. Some people do not wish to eat corn syrup for health reasons, but another concern is the functionality of this new recipe. While the sugar-sweetened marshmallows toasted properly, the corn syrup marshmallows have a tendency to liquify when heated, rather than toasting. This not only results in a bigger mess than was previously involved, but also the occasional loss of a marshmallow when in melts enough to simply fall free of the stick or fork which was holding it.

Origin

This product was originally a medicinal syrup and ointment which was made easier to use and transport though this processing. The "active ingredient" in this medical marshmallow was root sap from the Marsh Mallow (Althaea officinalis) plant. Marsh Mallow is a kind of plant which is better known as hibiscus.[2] This herb has been used for a long time in medicine, and still is used in natural healing today. It is commonly used for heart, skin, and respiratory health, blood pressure regulation, sleep aid, body temperature regulation, and other purposes.[3]

References

  1. "Marshmallow." Britannica Academic. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2016. Web. 13 Jul. 2016. <http://0-academic.eb.com.www.consuls.org/levels/collegiate/article/51123>.
  2. "Marsh mallow." Britannica Academic. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2016. Web. 13 Jul. 2016. <http://0-academic.eb.com.www.consuls.org/levels/collegiate/article/51105>.
  3. http://www.gaiaherbs.com/articles/detail/42/The-Surprising-Health-Benefits-of-Hibiscus