How Did Marshmallows Get Their Name?
Marshmallows are named after a marsh plant called “marsh mallow.” Marshmallow candy looks something like the cottony seed pods of the plant. Years ago, people dug up the long marsh mallow roots and used them for medicine. When boiled, the sweet juice in the roots became very thick and slippery.
Marsh mallow medicine was soothing to sore throats and stomachaches and it had a pleasant taste. It wasn’t long before people began using marsh mallow roots to make a new kind of treat – marsh mallow candy. Today, candy makers make the same kind of candy without using real marsh mallow root.
It’s made from corn syrup, gelatin, egg whites, and sugar. The gelatin replaces the thick, gluey substance from the marshmallow plant. Marshmallows, like most sweets, are sweetened with sucrose.