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STEPHANIE ZONIS is a Contributing Editor.

 

 

March 2011

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Candy

Marshmallow Madness 2011

Page 2: Marshmallows: Ingredients

 

This is Page 2 of a 4-page article on gourmet marshmallows, followed by reviews of our favorite marshmallows in Part II. Here, marshmallow ingredients. Click on the black links below to visit the other pages.

PART I: OVERVIEW

PART II: THE BEST ARTISAN MARSHMALLOWS

 

What's In Your Marshmallow?

The simple fact is that most, if not all, marshmallows do contain corn syrup. However, this is not usually high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), the product about which there is considerable controversy. And, while non-vegetarian/non-vegan marshmallows will contain gelatin, the source of that gelatin can vary. Most gelatin is derived from livestock, but some is made from fish.

Marshmallows are made from just three ingredient groups:

  • Sweeteners, including sugar and corn syrup and/or dextrose, a form of glucose.
  • Emulsifying agents that give the marshmallow their texture, which can include any combination of corn starch, gelatin, gum, modified food starch, water and/or whipped egg whites.
  • Flavoring, ideally natural.

Some producers also use coloring, ideally natural.

Speaking of marshmallow flavors, I have found that I tend to prefer marshmallows flavored with what I call “real” ingredients—fruit purées, genuine spices, real chocolate chips, etc.—rather than extracts or flavorings. The sole exception to this seems to be vanilla; a good vanilla extract in a marshmallow can be simple perfection.

If you have a similar preference, or even the opposite one, before purchasing by all means ask the producer how his/her marshmallows are flavored and/or colored.

I found a few sites touting marshmallows as being fat-free, or very low in fat, implying that they are somehow healthier for you than other sweets out there.

  • Yes, marshmallows are frequently fat-free, or very low in fat, but they contain a lot of sugar.
 
Vivid color like these marshmallows from Calabasas Candy Co. require a bit of food coloring.
  • As is typical with dietary non-essentials, moderation is key. If you’re healthy, incorporating a judicious number of marshmallows into your diet will likely mean only that your days are a little sweeter.

 

 

Continue To Page 3: Recipes With Marshmallows

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