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What are marshmallows and how are they made?

  • I edited out the health aspect of your question because that's off topic here, but the answer the health question can be inferred from the answer to, "what is it?" – Jolenealaska Jan 6 '15 at 11:25
  • I have a posted an answer to the marshmallow question. I think that your shortening question is actually a duplicate: Here: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/33897/… and here: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/7149/… – Jolenealaska Jan 6 '15 at 12:16
  • @Jolenealaska The health question may stem from confusion over terms: the candy marshmallow -- it used to be made from the herb marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis), but it isn't anymore. I won't bother expanding on the effects of marshmallow root since that's definitely off-topic :) – Erica Jan 6 '15 at 13:30
  • I'm surprised nobody's posted about marshmallow farming... there was a problem with too much rain in North Carolina a few years back: youtube.com/watch?v=23QA1tSMpfw – mike Jan 6 '15 at 16:14
  • @mike Oh Jeez :) Hide and watch, someone is going to watch that and take it seriously. – Jolenealaska Jan 6 '15 at 16:32
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Marshmallows are a white, fluffy candy, that easily melts and becomes sticky. They are almost all sugar (and corn syrup which is also sugar), with whipped gelatine. They're vanilla flavored, usually with clear vanillin, because the pure whiteness is the very essence of the candy.

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They're sometimes colored, but not usually:

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The little ones are often served in hot chocolate milk, and they're often used as ingredients in other things like fudge.

It's also very traditional to skewer them on a stick and roast them over a campfire:

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Put the roasted marshmallow between graham crackers with chocolate, you have a s'more, a favorite snack of campers everywhere.

Here's a tour of a huge marshmallow factory: YouTube video with some fun trivia too.

Here's a homemade version that I have done, complete with handy video, it's kind of a fun afternoon: Alton Brown's Marshmallows

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