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Medicinal Marshmallows? A History of Your Favorite Candy


The marshmallow flower is the source of the sticky sap used in the world’s first marshmallows.

If you’re a marshmallow lover, you’ve probably savored a peep or two in your life, or enjoyed a flaming hot s’more over a campfire. Marshmallows are certainly a favorite of Americans, but you might be surprised to learn that their origins aren’t American at all. The marshmallow that we know and love today traces its roots all the way back to ancient Egypt, and may seem like a far cry from the candy confection you adore. Marshmallows have come a long way, and Wockenfuss is here to tell you every detail of the delectable story.

Ancient Beginnings

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the lore associated with marshmallows is how they came to be in the first place. You may not know that marshmallows were originally derived from a plant of the same name. This flowering plant often grows near salty marshes, and its roots can be tapped to release a sweet sap. Doctors in ancient Egypt would use this sap to cure sore throats. The healing sap would be mixed with egg whites and sugar or honey and left to harden; the gooey final product with its wonderful medicinal side effects was a hit with children. Over time, medical uses were dropped, and marshmallow was enjoyed purely as a sweet treat. During the mid-1800s, gelatin replaced the sap of the marshmallow plant, and with the sap went any healing properties.

A Modern Approach to Mallows

After gelatin was switched for marshmallow sap, the next step in modernizing production was to mechanize the process so it no longer had to be done by hand. An “extrusion process” allowed marshmallow to be piped through a machine that shaped and cut marshmallows into even sizes. From there, specialized shapes like peeps became possible.

Wockenfuss’ Marshmallows

At Wockenfuss Candies, we love to celebrate the marshmallow as much as you do. When you’re not toasting some over a roaring fire, stop by Wockenfuss Candies or order your favorite marshmallow treats online. Choose from treats like our heavenly rocky road bars, dark chocolate covered marshmallows, and sugar-free dark chocolate marshmallows.

If you have any questions about our products, please contact us at Wockenfuss Candies: call 1-800-296-4414 or email When you’re not savoring our specialties, satisfy your sweet tooth by following us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest!

This entry was posted on Friday, June 5th, 2015 at 5:34 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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