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Coconut Marshmallows
Toasted coconut marshmallows from Softly Sweetly. All photography by River Soma | THE NIBBLE.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

STEPHANIE ZONIS is a Contributing Editor.

 

 

March 2011

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Candy

Marshmallow Madness 2011: Part I

The Best Gourmet Marshmallows, “Homemade” By Artisans

 

CAPSULE REPORT: In the fall of 2007, we published our first massive article on artisan marshmallows, featuring 21 marshmallow specialists. Three years down the road, a number of those businesses are gone, many likely victims of the recession. Yet, others have sprung up. Our resident marshmallow expert, Stephanie Zonis, turned her focus to 25 new marshmallow artisans. Read her overview of marshmallows below, then check out her favorites in Part II. This is Page 1 of a 4-page article on gourmet marshmallows, followed by reviews of the favorites. Click on the black links below to visit the other pages.

PART I: OVERVIEW

PART II: THE BEST ARTISAN MARSHMALLOWS

 

The Marshmallow Image Problem

Marshmallow makers face a serious problem in trying to sell their wares. Marshmallows have an image problem with customers, almost as though they were the less-worthy children in the candy family. Most people don’t realize that artisan marshmallows have almost nothing in common with supermarket marshmallows. Even fewer people know that these airy confections are available in a dazzling range of flavors.

Marshmallows are often viewed as “kid stuff”—too sweet and lacking any real flavor, thanks to the mass production of well-known brands. One artisan producer noted that “This view of marshmallows is something we struggle to overcome.” Another commented that she is often queried on whether her marshmallows contain corn syrup and/or gelatin, adding that corn syrup is considered “evil” these days by some; and gelatin, derived from animal sources,* isn’t vegetarian. (There are a few vegan marshmallows available; the best I’ve found are from Sweet & Sara, reviewed in my 2007 article.)

*Typically, gelatin is made from the collagen inside the skin and bones of cattle and pigs.

 

 

Continue To Page 2: Marshmallow Ingredients

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