The Bottom Line: Learn something new about marshmallows
The Full Story:
- Americans buy 90-million pounds of marshmallows each year, about the same weight as 1,286 gray whales.
- Marshmallow was first made from the mallow plant (Athaea officinalis, which grows wild in marshes – hence the term “marshmallow.” Mallow is native to Asia and Europe and has been naturalized in America. And while historians say ancient Egyptians squeezed sap from the mallow plant and mixed it with nuts and honey, no one has a clue as to 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 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.
- The, 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.
- The marshmallow capital of the world is in Ligonier, Noble County, Indiana. Ligonier, Indiana is also the home of the Annual Marshmallow Festival.
- Each summer more than 50% of all marshmallows sold are toasted over a fire.
- According to the Guinness World Book of Records, the largest s’more ever made tipped the scales at 267-pounds and was made at the Deer Run Camping Resort in Gardners, Pennsylvania on May 31st, 2014.