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What Are Marshmallows? Sweets From The Swamps!! 🤯

What Are Marshmallows? Sweets From The Swamps!! 🤯

Today, marshmallows are a lightweight, puffy sweet confectionery that many kids and adults love. 

But we can’t help but think, what are marshmallows, exactly?

Many Americans can associate sweet, fluffy, puffy marshmallows with tons of memories: toasting them over a campfire while hearing good stories, floating them in hot chocolate, being the best partner of graham crackers for smores, and more.

Did you know that there is more to these delicious treats than meets the eye?

At first glance, marshmallows are just a sugary, light, and powdery treat, as if that’s all there is to them, but marshmallows are more fascinating than that.

Due to their simple appearance, it’s easy to think that what we know about marshmallows is enough and we shouldn’t bother learning more.

But did you know that marshmallows have been around since 2000 B.C.?

And what about that long name … were they born in a marsh or something? Well, yes!

And since the discovery of marshmallows, they have changed so much! ​​🤯

This FAQ guide will show you everything about the beloved marshmallow, from what they are made of, creative ways to use marshmallows, how to help keep them fresh, and a few fun recipes, too!

And who can forget how Marshmallow peeps are such sweet and fun Easter treats!

Let’s discover what makes marshmallows so unique.

Marshmallows, when first discovered in 2000 B.C. by Ancient Egyptians, came from a plant that grew in marshlands: the marshmallow plant.

Yep, a plant that grows in wetlands, in other words—swampy marshes!!

From these plants, a sweet substance could be extracted.

They were then mixed with honey and nuts to create a delicious delicacy only available to royalty and offered up to the gods. 

However, today, most of the marshmallows don’t come from the marshmallow plant anymore.

Typical marshmallows are made from sugar, water, corn syrup, gelatin, and some air!

These simple ingredients are all there is to the modern-day marshmallow.

The most essential ingredients are gelatin and the whipped-up air.

The air helps the marshmallow have a foamy texture while the gelatin holds together all the sugar and flavors. 

Today, there are a lot of things you can do with marshmallows, ranging from simply toasting them over a campfire to incorporating them into sweet treats like cookies and even ice cream!

Try our recipe for marshmallow-heavenly Rocky Road Brownies >>

How are marshmallows made?

Given that marshmallows have simple ingredients, making them is not too complicated, but it does take time and a lot of powdered sugar and cornstarch to keep it from sticking to your hands.

First, you must dissolve the main ingredient, gelatin, into water. 

Meanwhile, the corn syrup, sugar, and water are concentrated due to the evaporation of boiling water. 

Once the gelatin is fully dissolved and the sugar syrup is properly mixed, they are combined and whipped until it reaches a marshmallow-like consistency.

The marshmallow mixture becomes a full-fledged marshmallow once the air is incorporated into the still-hot mixture. 

These steps are popular in United States cuisine, or in the commercial setting that some machines help give the marshmallows a better taste and texture. 

Note: For mass production of marshmallows, they are either created in an extrusion process from pastry bags or by a machine that plops them out into a pillow shape.

For artisan, modern marshmallows, the additional ingredient is egg whites, to help make them a bit more manageable!

According to a French cook, egg whites give the marshmallows a stabilizing meringue and a light, airy texture and make them easier to work with, particularly for piping decorative designs.

How long will marshmallows last?

Although marshmallows have a “best before” date, they can last longer than that. 

Unopened, these soft, air products are still okay to consume even 6 to 8 months beyond their “best before” date.

However, they do get stickier the longer they aren’t consumed and often stick to each other in the bag over time.

Opened marshmallows are best consumed right away because air dries them out.

If that’s not possible, they’re still of good quality for about a week after being opened.

However, Hudson Valley stated that their marshmallow products could last up to 10 months if kept in the original container and stored in a cool, dark place. 

They added that you could maximize the shelf life of their unopened pack of marshmallows when stored in an airtight container and the refrigerator. 

As per Sugar Rush, they mentioned in their FAQ section that all of their marshmallows should stay fresh on the counter for at least four months

They also suggested consumers not refrigerate their marshmallows, even after opening, as the products are safe enough to be kept in a desk drawer. 

So you can see that depending on the ingredients and the brand of store-bought marshmallows, how you can keep them will differ. 

Although marshmallows do go bad, it takes a long time for that to happen.

How do I store marshmallows to keep them fresh?

It’s important to keep marshmallows in a tightly sealed bag or airtight container to ensure no moisture can go in the marshmallows. 

When it comes to storage, marshmallows are easy: keep air and moisture out of the bag. 

You can simply keep them in your pantry, and they will stay fresh for as long as their “best by” date or longer.

However, when you happen to open the package, you can keep the marshmallows in a sealed zipper bag either in the pantry or in the refrigerator.

Tools needed:

  • Opened package of marshmallows
  • Zipper bag or airtight container
  • Refrigerator

Instructions for storing an opened package of marshmallows in the refrigerator:

  1. Transfer the marshmallows with clean hands from the package to an airtight container or zipper bag.
  2. Close tightly.
  3. Put the bag or container in the refrigerator. Only take it out long enough to retrieve the marshmallows you want, then put the bag or container back in the fridge.

Take note, also, that there are marshmallow products that don’t recommend refrigeration as this can affect their overall quality, so always check the label.

Also, always use clean hands or gloves when transferring the marshmallows to a container.

Can marshmallows be frozen?

Yes, marshmallows can be frozen, but they should be well sealed and wrapped to lock out air and moisture or to avoid freezer burn.

Freezing marshmallows is one way to lengthen their good quality and prevent them from becoming one big sticky clump.

When thawing frozen marshmallows, you simply remove them from the freezer and allow them to reach room temperature.

Are marshmallows vegan?

Most traditional, commercially made marshmallows are NOT vegan.

Your typical marshmallow contains gelatin, which is made from animal matter, so they are far from being vegan.

However, there are vegan marshmallows available on the market, so it’s not impossible to make individual marshmallows without gelatin.

A few of the many popular brands that offer vegan marshmallows are Yummallo, Dandies, Trader Joe’s, and Funky Mello.

Are marshmallows gluten-free?

Yes, many marshmallow brands are gluten-free, but it’s important to read the package or label before eating what’s inside.

There are some that use a different starch, such as wheat starch, in place of cornstarch, which makes them not gluten-free. 

Although not all marshmallow brands outright say they are gluten-free, most are. 

However, to ensure that you’re eating gluten-free marshmallows, it’s best to read the fine print.

And if you’ve been gifted homemade marshmallows, it’s best to ask the chef.

What are some creative ways to use marshmallows beyond roasting them over a fire?

Here are 8 creative ways to use marshmallows other than toasted on a stick over an open flame!

There are many ways to use marshmallows beyond roasting them over a fire.

Since they are sweet, they’re mostly used for desserts, from cupcakes to cookies to milkshakes.

However, despite being edible, you can also use marshmallows for non-food-related things or activities, such as:

Recipes that use marshmallows:

S’mores are a no-brainer if you have some marshmallows on hand, but you can take them up a notch by turning them into bars.

This recipe oozes with chocolatey and marshmallow goodness that gives you comfort even without the heat of the campfire.

Here’s a versatile marshmallow recipe: you can practically put it on any dessert you make.

With only a handful of ingredients, you can whip up this icing that’s sweet and irresistible.

If you want some complex taste and texture to your marshmallow recipes, this is for you.

It’s hard not to appreciate the great combination of oatmeal cookies and marshmallow frosting.

Yes, marshmallows can be turned into ice creams.

They’re simple to make and even easier to devour because of how delicious they are.

Even if you’re not a fan of ice cream, you might change your mind.

We show you how to Make S’mores in the Microwave >>

The bottom line

We hope you learned something new about one of the most loved confections in the world!

Marshmallows, with their puffy yet straightforward appearance, are more complex and captivating.

They’re great at satisfying sweet cravings, but they are also versatile enough to be turned into different kinds of desserts.

Do you need a substitute for marshmallows? Here’s an FAQ to help you out.

How To Store Marshmallows In The Refrigerator

How To Store Marshmallows In The Refrigerator

Here's the best way to store marshmallows in your refrigerator.


  • Opened package of marshmallows
  • Zipper bag or airtight container
  • Refrigerator


  1. Transfer the marshmallows with clean hands from the package to an airtight container or zipper bag.
  2. Close tightly.
  3. Put it in the refrigerator to extend its shelf life.


Take note, also, that there are marshmallow products that don’t recommend refrigeration as this can affect their overall quality.

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