Monday, June 13, 2011

Marshmallows...who knew!!

Just say the word marshmallow and you think about Smore's, Sweet Potatoes, Hot Chocolate and of course  roasted marshmallows over a campfire.  But why are they named Marshmallow? Doesn't that seem like an odd name, why not Puffs, Clouds of Goodness, you get the idea!
 I did some research and this is what I found out.
The marshmallow we know today is a modern version of a medicinal confection made from the marsh mallow  plant (Althaea Officinelis).  Since marshmallow plants grow in damp, wet areas such as marshes, the name makes sense.

According to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, a marshmallow is:
    1: a pink-flowered European perennial herb (Althaea officinalis) of the mallow family that is naturalized in the eastern U.S. and has a mucilaginous root sometimes used in confectionery and in medicine; 
    2: a confection made from the root of the marshmallow or from corn syrup, sugar, albumen, and gelatin beaten to a light spongy consistency

Making marshmallows dates back to ancient Egypt where the sap was extracted from the marshmallow plant and mixed with nuts and honey.  In the 19th century marshmallow plant roots were cooked with egg whites and sugar. The mixture would be whipped into a foamy meringue that would harden, cut into pieces and be used for children's sore throats.  Marsh mallow sap was thought to be a cough suppressant.Posted by Picasa
Gelatin has replaced the gooey juices of the marshmallow plant. But the marsh mallow plant is still used in many medicinal ways.
I will be sharing this on these blog parties:
Gold Star Wednesday
Made by you Monday's
Full Plate Thursday's
Foodie Friday
Tuesdays at the Table
What's Cooking Wednesday
Mouthwatering Monday's


  1. Wow, that's interesting! Great post!

  2. I did not know there was a marshmallow plant. Interesting:)

  3. This was very interesting! I love learning new things!

  4. Pretty plant and great information.
    Mimi's Kitchen

  5. We will be roasting Marshmallows at our picnic this week end and I will share this information. Great post! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you next week!
    Miz Helen