From Egypt To France: Here’s How Marshmallow Made It
Updated : August 17, 2021 10:08 IST
These fluffy white pieces of heaven have a deep back story.
A type of confectionery sweets, a marshmallow is a sweet candy with often white or baby pink colour. Generally, they are made from sugar, water, whipped gelatin, and coated in cornstarch.
This dessert has been around for centuries in one form or another. There was a time when they were eaten alone. Today, however, marshmallows are eaten baked or charred to make them melty and ooey-gooey.
The Egyptians were the first to enjoy this dessert as far back as 2000 BC. Considered as a treat for the royalty and gods, it was then made from the mallow plant (Athaea Officinalis) that grew wild in marshes. The plant mallow was native to Asia and Europe at the time, and the Egyptians would squeeze the sap from it and mix it with honey and fruits to make their rendition of the marshmallow. The term marshmallow seems to be derived from both the plant and where it grew.
Years later, the French introduced a version of the marshmallow in the mid 19th century. French candy shops hand whipped the sap of the mallow root into a fluffy candy. The demand for this stuff expanded and they had to look towards a mechanism to meet its ever-increasing demand. A starch mogul system was set up in the late 1800s that quickened the process. At that time, marshmallows were prepared by mixing mallow root sap, sugar, and egg whites into a mold.
Marshmallow moved to the US in the early 1900s. And here, it took up a new form. In fact, in 1948, Alex Doumak revolutionized the method of making marshmallows and created a painted extrusion process. All of the marshmallow ingredients ran through a tube and then were cut to form perfect cubes. And later they were packaged and sold to customers. By the 1950s, they became intensely popular and were used in several dessert recipes. Today, the mallow sap has been replaced by gelatin.