Most people have fond memories of childhood, sat by a roaring campfire toasting marshmallows on wooden sticks… Yum! National Toasted Marshmallow Day is a chance to relive those memories, and for people who’ve never experienced toasting marshmallows to find out what all the fuss is about.
History of National Toasted Marshmallow Day
Taking a look at where this particular day began requires going back to the beginning. Maybe not completely back to the beginning of all time but, at the very least, to the beginning of the beloved marshmallow.
The namesake of the marshmallow is actually a flower (Althaea officinalis) but don’t worry, no flowers are now harmed in the making of this delicious treat! It was named after the marsh flower which, appropriately, is known to grow in marshes. The root of this flower was originally used to flavor marshmallows, but now they are made with other flavorings. But the name still stuck.
Some historians believe that the marshmallow dates as far back as ancient Egypt, when the people would extract the essence of the marshmallow plant, mix it with honey, and then turn it into a sort of gooey candy. Because it was so decadent, it was exclusive to the wealthy and powerful, such as royalty.
The marshmallow more like we now know it wasn’t created until much later–in 19th century France. At that time it was created sort of like a meringue–with egg whites, sugar, water and marshmallow root extract. They were then whipped into a fluffy, airy type of candy.
As they’ve morphed over time, the marshmallow root has been dropped, as often the eggs also have. Then adding in some corn syrup, starch, and/or gelatin for them to keep their shape.
It’s likely that the most famous treat ever made with the toasted marshmallow is, of course, the S’more. This traditional girl scout invented outdoorsy treat includes cramming a toasted marshmallow in the middle of a graham cracker sandwich made with a few pieces of delicious chocolate. The warmth of the toasted marshmallow brings a melty sensation to the chocolate and the whole thing is just a delicious, gooey mess of fun.
Since toasted marshmallows have become popular, it is estimated that every summer, about 50% of the marshmallows sold in the US are toasted over a fire. Now that’s a lot of toasted marshmallows!
Learn Fun Facts About Marshmallows
Impress friends and family members with these fun facts all centered around the glorious marshmallow:
- Not all marshmallows are made equally. Some of them are actually not vegan because they contain eggs, or sometimes even animal gelatin.
- Marshmallows probably first began as a recipe that was meant to have medicinal purposes, since the extracts from the roots were typically used as a remedy for sore throats.
- Originally, in France, marshmallows were whipped by hand–which was a lot of hard work for those candy makers! Eventually, modified corn starch became part of the process that minimized the amount of labor that went into marshmallow making.
- Americans buy (and eat!) approximately 90 million pounds of marshmallows every single year!
How to Celebrate National Toasted Marshmallow Day
Enjoying National Toasted Marshmallow Day isn’t difficult for anyone at all! It’s a simple and delicious way to give a nod to this yummy, gooey treat. Try some of these ideas for celebrating or come up with your own:
Toast Some Marshmallows
Of course it’s obvious, but it still deserves to be said. Today, of all days, get out there to a campfire or fireplace and toast some marshmallows. Have some friends and family over, whittle down those long sticks, build that campfire and get to toasting those yummy, fluffy, sugar-mallows!
Make Some Toasted Marshmallow Recipes
For folks who want to take things further than S’mores, there’s more to be done with toasted marshmallows! Try out these fun and interesting recipes for toasted marshmallows that will keep the family coming back for more:
- Toasted Marshmallow Baked Sweet Potatoes. This takes health and deliciousness to a whole new level–and it doesn’t necessarily need to be Thanksgiving to enjoy this combination. Simply pile some mini marshmallows on top of a baked sweet potato and brown it in the oven until toasted.
- Toasted Marshmallow Milk Shakes. After roasting those marshmallows, swirl them in a milkshake that is made with vanilla or chocolate ice cream. The smoky flavor combined with the sweetness is simply to die for.
- Toasted Marshmallow S’mores Dip. Great for parties, this yummy dip includes cream cheese, powdered sugar, heavy cream, oven toasted mini marshmallows and Hershey’s chocolate. And, of course, graham crackers are the perfect thing to dip–but fruit or other cookies work just as well.
- Toasted Marshmallow Pancakes. Make those yummy pancakes even dreamier by topping them with chocolate syrup and adding a dose of toasted marshmallows on top (a kitchen blowtorch is helpful for this one!).
Try Some Toasted Marshmallows Products
For those who don’t actually have a fire ready to get toasting, some companies offer toasted marshmallow flavored products that can be enjoyed in lieu of the actual treat. Try these out:
- Toasted Marshmallow Flavoring Syrup. These types of syrups are delicious when put into hot chocolate, milkshakes or even coffee drinks. Torani and Monin are two of many brands offering toasted marshmallow flavoring syrup.
- Toasted Marshmallow Greek Yogurt. One of the yummy flavors offered by Dannon Light & Fit.
- Toasted Marshmallow Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. Whether eaten on their own or mixed with other flavors, these candies truly do taste like the real thing!
- Toasted Marshmallow Scented Candles. Okay, this isn’t for eating, but it is still extremely delicious smelling! Many different companies have offered this scent including Bath & Body Works and various makers on Etsy.
Have a National Toasted Marshmallow Day Party
Grab some friends, family, neighbors and coworkers and invite them over for a National Toasted Marshmallow Day Party! Theme the decorations, food and activities all around the idea of marshmallows. Have guests dress in white marshmallow costumes, and make some fun decorations by stringing marshmallows on a thread and hanging it as garland.
And, of course, don’t forget to build a fire so that everyone can toast marshmallows until their hearts are content. While toasting, don’t forget to sing traditional campfire songs to make the time pass while the mallows are being roasted.