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Oddly enough the origin of the "marsh mallow" is in its name.

A marsh mallow is plant that grows in swamps. Originally mediacal people (herbalists) would collect the plant and make sore throat remedies from extracts of the stem and roots.

The Egyptians used this same extract to make sweets with nuts and honey. Sometimes othe sweet makers would simply boil down the extract with sugar to make chewy candy.

In the early 1800s French confectioners (candy makers) refined this process by whippin the extract and sugar to a froth befor letting it set. In a move to make the candy cheaper (and easier to make) the whites of eggs were substituted for the marsh mallow sap.

These early marshmallows were not the little barrel shapes familiar to the modern consumer, they were cut squares. The process was eventually automated to form the modern plug shapes. The product was rolled in powdered sugar to stop it from sticking ogeher.

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2010-09-03 02:37:04
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Q: What is the history of the marshmallow?
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