AskDefine | Define marshmallows

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Plural of marshmallow

Extensive Definition

The Marshmallow is a confection that, in its modern form, typically consists of sugar or corn syrup, water, gelatin that has been pre-softened in hot water, dextrose, and flavorings, whipped to a spongy consistency. The traditional recipe used an extract from the mucilaginous root of the marshmallow plant, a shrubby herb (Althaea officinalis), instead of gelatin; the mucilage was used to soothe sore throats.
Commercial marshmallows are a late-nineteenth-century innovation. Since Doumak's patented extrusion process of 1948, marshmallows are extruded as soft cylinders, cut in sections and rolled in a mix of finely powdered cornstarch and confectioner's sugar (icing sugar). Not all brands coat their marshmallows in confectioner's sugar. Most of the current brands of commercially available marshmallows, in the United States and Canada, are made and copacked by Kraft Foods and Doumak, Inc, under such names as Jet-Puffed, Campfire, Kidd and numerous "private label" store brands.
Marshmallows are used in S'mores, Mallomars, Peeps and other candy, Rice Krispie treats, ice cream flavors such as Rocky Road, on top of hot chocolate and candied yams, and in several other foodstuffs. Americans eat about 90 million pounds of marshmallows a year.
Marshmallow fluff and other less firm marshmallow products generally contain little or no gelatin, which mainly serves to allow the familiar marshmallow confection to retain its shape. They generally use egg whites instead. Non-gelatin versions of this product may be consumed by ovo vegetarians.

See also

marshmallows in German: Marshmallow
marshmallows in Spanish: Malvavisco
marshmallows in French: Guimauve (confiserie)
marshmallows in Indonesian: Marshmallow
marshmallows in Italian: Marshmallow
marshmallows in Hebrew: מרשמלו
marshmallows in Latin: Pasta hibisci
marshmallows in Dutch: Marshmallow
marshmallows in Japanese: マシュマロ
marshmallows in Norwegian: Marshmallow
marshmallows in Portuguese: Marshmallow (doce)
marshmallows in Finnish: Vaahtokarkki
marshmallows in Swedish: Marshmallows
marshmallows in Chinese: 棉花糖 (顆粒狀)
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