National Toasted Marshmallow Day/History of the Marshmallow

Welcome! I hope that today finds you in good health and spirits. Today is…

National Toasted Marshmallow Day Is sponsored by the National Confectioners Association.

The history of the marshmallow dates all the way back to Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians harvested the sweet gooey extract of the mallow plant and used it to make candy. It was a very special treat reserved exclusively for gods and royalty. The modern-day marshmallows we know and love today emerged during the 19th century. (Punch Bowl)

National Toasted Marshmallow Day

The Natural History of the Marshmallow

14 facts about the Marshmallow

1.This confection is the modern version of a medicinal confection made from Althaea officinalis, the marshmallow plant.

“No country herb garden would be complete without marshmallow. It is beneficial for so many ailments from stomach upset, constipation, sore throat, bronchial spasms, and even bruises, cuts, and scrapes. It has a wild, rustic look with its maple-like leaves, and Rosey looking flowers, tall and swaying gently in the breezes of summer. Painted lady butterflies are attracted to it. Native pollinators cover its blossoms in summer. You’ll want to find a spot on your homestead for this amazing herb. Marshmallow (Althea officinalis) is a perennial flowering weed of moist, damp places. It’s soft, hairy stock stands 3 to 4 feet high. It has a branched stem. It’s soft, hairy leaves are deeply cut in 3 divisions, similar in shape to a maple leaf. The flowers are born along the upper stalk. They have 5 heart shaped petals, usually white, to bluish pink or mauve.They bloom in late summer. lowers, leaves, and root are edible”. (Joybileefarm)

Joybille farm article on Marshmallow Plant

2.Not all marshmallows are vegan, most marshmallows contain eggs or animal based gelatin.

Here is one Brand that is Vegan

Vegan Marshmallow Brands can be found at the following link.

Vegan Gelatin free Marshmallow Brands

3.The marshmallow is a confection that, in its modern form, typically consists of sugar, corn syrup, water, gelatin that has been softened in hot water, dextrose, vanilla flavorings, and sometimes coloring, whipped to a spongy consistency.

4.The marshmallow probably first came into being as a medicinal substance, since the mucilaginous extracts comes from the root of the marshmallow plant, Althaea officinalis, which were used as a remedy for sore throats.

You can find Marshmallow root products at Your local health food or organic store.

5.Concoctions of other parts of the marshmallow plant had medical uses as well.

For more information on how to use this Herb Medically, visit Learning Herbs at the following web address.

Remedies and Recipes using Marshmallow Root

“Few scientific studies have looked at the effects of marshmallow in humans. Most of its suggested uses come from a long history of use in traditional healing systems. However, one recent study confirmed that marshmallow preparations help soothe irritated mucous membranes due to:

• Asthma

• Bronchitis

• Common cold/sore throat

• Cough

• Inflammatory bowel diseases (such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis)

• Indigestion

• Stomach ulcers

• Skin inflammation

Parts Used

The leaves and roots of marshmallow are the parts used for medicinal purposes.

Available Forms

Dried leaves may be used in infusions, fluid extracts, and tinctures. Marshmallow roots are available dried, peeled, or unpeeled in extracts (dry and fluid), tinctures, capsules, ointments, creams, and cough syrups.

How to Take It

Pediatric Dose

There is no data to suggest what dose is appropriate for a child. Ask your child’s pediatrician for guidance.

Adult Dosage

Marshmallow root is available as a tea, liquid tincture, or capsule. Drink several cups of tea daily, drink 1 glass of water containing 30 to 40 drops of tincutre daily, or take capsules containing an equivalent of 6g of powdered root daily in divided doses.

Precautions

The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. However, herbs can trigger side effects, and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

Marshmallow is generally considered safe. It has no reported side effects. It appears to be safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, although you should check with your doctor before taking it.

One study suggests marshmallow may lower blood sugar levels. So people with diabetes should talk to their doctors before taking marshmallow”. (University of Maryland Medical Center)

Univerity of Maryland Medical Center Article on the Marshmallow Herb

Web MD stated the same things as, University of Maryland Medical Center. However, they also found some Interactions that occur when Marshmallow Root is taken with other Medications.

6.Beginning around 9th century BCE, the Greeks used marshmallows to heal wounds and soothe sore throats. A balm made from the plant’s sap was often applied to toothaches and bee stings. The plant’s medicinal uses grew more varied in the centuries that followed: Arab physicians made a poultice from ground-up marshmallow leaves and used it as an anti-inflammatory. The Romans found that marshmallows worked well as a laxative, while numerous other civilizations found it had the opposite effect on one’s libido. By the Middle Ages, marshmallows served as a treatment for everything from upset stomachs to chest colds and insomnia.

How to Use Marshmallow to Heal the Body.

•“To take advantage of marshmallow’s healing properties, gently boil ½ to 1 tsp. of chopped or crushed root per cup of water for 15 minutes and drink as a tea.

•For external use, chop the root finely and add enough water to it to produce a gel. Apply this soothing gel directly to any wound or bruise for immediate relief”. (Homesteading Survival)

Homestead Survival Article on,”The health benefits of the Marshmallow Plant”.

20 different ways to utilize Marshmallow root for healing.

20 Marshmallow Root Diy’s

7.The Ancient Egyptians were the first ones to make a sweet treat from the plant, when they combined marshmallow sap with nuts and honey. The dish bore no resemblance to today’s marshmallows, and was reserved for the nobility. The gods were supposedly big fans, as well.

8.In 19th century France, confectioners married the plant’s medicinal side with the indulgent qualities revealed by the Egyptians. Pâté de guimauve was a spongy-soft dessert made from whipping dried marshmallow roots with sugar, water, and egg whites. Sold as a healthful treat in lozenge and bar form, the guimauve, as it was known, quickly became a hit. There was just one problem: Drying and preparing the marshmallow stretched production to a day or two. To cut down the time, confectioners substituted gelatin for the plant extract.

Pâté de guimauve Ingredients

•1 cup confectioners’ sugar

•3 1/2 envelopes (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin

•1 cup cold water, divided into 1/2 cup

•2 cups sugar

•1/2 cup light corn syrup

•1/4 teaspoon salt

•2 large egg whites

•1 TBS + 1 tsp vanilla (favorite substitutions: 2 tsps mint or orange extract)

•food coloring (optional)

Directions

1.Take a paper towel and lightly oil the bottom and sides of a 13x9x2″ rectangular metal baking pan. Use a colander or sifter with a small amount of powdered sugar to dust bottom and sides of the pan.

2.In the standing electric mixer bowl, add 1/2 cup of very cold water and sprinkle gelatin over water, being careful not to let all of the gelatin clump in one place. Let stand to soften. (If you do not have a standing electric mixer you can do this first step in a large bowl).

3.In a medium-size (approximately 3-quart) heavy saucepan over low heat add sugar, corn syrup, second 1/2 cup of cold water, and salt stirring with a wooden spoon or candy spatula, until sugar is dissolved. Increase to medium-high heat and boil, without stirring, until candy thermometer registers 240 degrees, approximately 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.

4.With standing or a hand-held electric mixer beat mixture on high speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about six minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer. (The hand held mixer does tend to take a little longer and might even need to go beyond 10 minutes.)

5.In separate medium-size bowl with cleaned beaters whip egg whites until stiff peaks are formed when the beaters are removed. Gently beat whites and vanilla (or other flavoring) into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into the oiled baking pan. Sift 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow in the refrigerator, uncovered, until firm, approximately three hours, and not longer than one day.

6.To remove from pan, run a thin knife around edges and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up (or peeling back) one corner of inverted pan, with dry fingers to loosen the marshmallow and ease it out of the pan and onto cutting board. With a large knife, or oiled pizza cutter, trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly two-inch cubes (you can cut them smaller but I love these large oversize pillows of candy). Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar back into your now-empty baking pan, and roll the marshmallows through it, dusting all sides.

Makes about 48 2-inch cubed marshmallows. Keep marshmallows keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature for 1-2 weeks.

9.With production streamlined, marshmallows made their way to the U.S. in the late 1800s.

10.In 1927, the Girl Scouts Handbook came out with a recipe for “Some More.” It instructed readers to “toast two marshmallows over the coals to a crisp gooey state and then put them inside a graham cracker and chocolate bar sandwich.” The name was soon shortened, and s’mores have been an American campfire tradition ever since.

11.The next leap for marshmallows came in the 1950s, when manufacturer Alex Doumak developed a process called extrusion that forced marshmallow mixture through metal tubes, shaping it into long ropes that were then cut to uniform size. The process gave marshmallows their cylindrical shape and it pumped even more air into them, giving them the soft-but-firm quality that we associate with the treat today. Kraft’s “Jet Puffed” tagline rebranded this process, which subjects the marshmallow mixture to gas blasts at 200 pounds per square inch.

12.Americans today consume more than 90 million pounds of marshmallows every year.

13.The first Mass produced American Marshmallow company was Doumak. in 1921, Doumak began producing cast mold marshmallows in Los Angeles, California. In 1954, our founder’s son Alex Doumakes invented and patented the extrusion process of manufacturing marshmallows, a breakthrough innovation that allowed the marshmallows to be mass produced in a cost-efficient manner. Marshmallows went from being an expensive confection to an everyday sweet treat and favorite ingredient for many recipes. At Doumak, their focus is on quality, service and value, and they pride themselves on producing the best quality and freshest marshmallow in the world. In 1961, the Doumakes family moved the company to its current location outside Chicago, Illinois. Today, they continue to operate as a family owned business. Their Campfire® and Rocky Mountain™ brands are world famous, and all of their products are made in the USA.

Campfire® Marshmallow Mystery Tour

That is the History of Marshmallows! I hope it has given you some details that you didn’t know. I know that I will never look at a Marshmallow the same way again. Thanks for stopping by!

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