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Thursday, 29 January 2009

My First Marshmallow

Before today, I'd never eaten a marshmallow.

As an almost-lifelong vegetarian, I suppose this isn't very surprising given that ordinary marshmallows contain gelatine which is Nasty.

I mentioned my marshmallow deficit while commenting on Johanna's blog and a little while later got a lovely comment from Single White Female pointing me towards Sweet & Sara, an American company making vegan marshmallows. Unfortunately, their online store doesn't ship to the UK, so I sent an email asking them about UK stockists and they suggested I check out Sweet Vegan.

Now, these are not cheap marshmallows by any stretch (and I thought the postage was expensive until I saw that they actually paid quite a lot more on stamps than they charged me!) but since I've always wondered what I was missing out on, I had to order a box.

I was a bit nervous before I tasted one - what if I didn't like it? Then what would I do with the rest of the box? (Okay, that's a silly question... I have a husband for that kind of thing!)

I needn't have worried. They're sticky and sweet and... well, fairly unremarkable I suppose, but nice. Soft, gooey, sugary things. From the outside they feel a bit like Turkish Delight but of course they're completely different once you bite into it. I ate half a one and then started thinking about what to do with the rest. The obvious necessities are to save one for my mum (who's vegan) and to get my husband to answer the burning question: are these like real marshmallows? After all, you wouldn't want to assume you knew about cheese after trying vegan 'cheese'.

The box had 14 marshmallows - I need to make these last, and I need to make it exciting. My mental list of things to do with marshmallows (based on watching other people throughout my life) only runs as far as:
  • Float them on hot chocolate
  • Melt over a candle flame and sandwich between two chocolate hob-nobs
  • Make 'rocky road' sweets
Seriously. That's me out of ideas - and, I note, they all involve chocolate (I'm not complaining).

Please help me out here if you have any marshmallow recipes or some obvious ideas I've missed...


Louiz said...

I agree with you about the vegan cheese - it's nothing like real cheese, but I hope that the marshmellow is more like the non vegan version and melts properly...

Try melting it over a bonfire on a pointy stick, when it's so cold you can hear the frost forming and the bonfire is the only source of heat. No chocolate, just on its own, and it's the only way to eat marshmellows as far as I'm concerned!

ladyfi said...

Put the grill on in the oven and roast until sticky and brown. Or take two digestives, put a marshmallow and a couple of squares of chocolate in the middle so that you have a kind of sandwich. Zap in micro.

My kids eat marshmallows melted on garlic bread, pizza and nacho chips too!

Kazzy said...

Wow! Vegan marshmallows? I gotta say I have never heard of those before! Have fun experimenting :)

Neil said...

It would never have occurred to me that marshmallows are not vegan.

Jenners said...

I was just stopping by to say thank you for stopping by my blog yesterday from BATW. I must say that I've never heard of vegan marshmellows. But I must admit, "regular" marshmellows are fairly unremarkable. I usually get them to float in hot chocolate. I'm not sure if you described smores as I'm not sure what a hob nob is but a smore is a graham cracker, a chocolate bar and marshmellow sandwich, with the chocolate and marshmellow melted together.

I also (in my childhood) ate Fluffernutters, which are peanut butter and marshmellow sandwiches. (I guess you might need marshmellow creme for this.)

And have you heard of Rice Kripie treats? This is puffed rice cereal and marshmellow (melted). The recipie can probably be found online somewhere. These are really good.

I personally like "Peeps," which are marshmellows rolled in colored sugar. They sells them in different shapes and colors for holidays. They are good a little bit stale and frozen.

Enjoy your marshmellow adventures!

Rachel Cotterill said...

Louiz - your plan requires a bonfire... other than that, sounds good :) I think this is what my friends were aiming at when they melted them over candles, it's just that we were eleven, and resources were limited.

Ladyfi - I think I might opt out of some of your suggestions! Garlic marshmallows... hmmm... :S

Kazzy - you should tell your veggie friend, I'm sure it's easier to get hold of them over there.

Neil - I'm prepared to wager that that's because you're not vegan (or veggie, for that matter). People with no dietary 'requirements' seldom read ingredient lists, in my experience :)

Jenners - I've never heard of a graham cracker, so I think we're even! Sounds like the same sort of thing though. I've made the rice krispie things loads of times without the marshmallow so that's an easy one to try :) Thanks for all the ideas!

Lynda said...

Oh wow, that's wonderful that you've finally tried a marshmallow & rather enjoyed it ! You could also make marshmallow rice krispie treats (melted with margarine & mixed in with rice krispies & pressed into a pan & cut into squares) let me know if you want the recipe !) or .. or .... well your 2nd suggestion is my favourite way to eat them !

anudivya said...

Never tried those! Shud look for it... and d you know what kosher gelatin is?
Saw it on my yogurt box today! and been wondering after seeing this post.

Rachel Cotterill said...

Lynda - I'm going to have to try the whole melting thing (and see how well it works with vegan marshmallows). This is going to be fun! I can see February being marshmallow month...

anudivya - I'd never heard of kosher gelatine but I looked it up and found a helpful site with all the details you could hope for!

Emmie said...

marchamallows are just scrumptious! I am glad you found a alternative for yourself!

Heather said...

I was going to suggest Rice Crispy Treats, but saw that Jenners beat me to it! Unfortunately, I don't know many marshmallow recipes. I don't eat them that often. They're quite good just toasted over an open flame, however. Just enough to make the outside a little crispy, and the inside all melty and delicious.
Good luck with your new treat!

Holler said...

Hey Rachel, I sometimes long for a marshmallow and didn't think I could get them here in the UK, so thanks for the link. I think I am going to order the toasted coconut marshmallows :)

Johanna said...

Wow Rachel - that is great that you have now tasted marshmallows - I don't often miss them but every now and again would love one (and am not overly strict with gelatine so one or two do sneak through) but I think you could try making rocky road slice with marshmallows - I have been looking at slice recipes and lots have chopped marshmallows. And they were really good on my chocolate dessert pizza.

But the marshmallow I miss most is that which my mum made and put on a slice she used to make when we were kids so I still harbour hopes of making a veg version of that one day!

MuseSwings said...

There's nothing better than a stale marshmallow - especially if its Peeps!

vegwife said...

Hi Rachel! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I see others have already suggested using the marshmallows for krispy treats... last year, I used them to make heart-shaped krispy treats for valentine's day! :)

Cookie said...

here's my favorite thing to do with marshmallows, which I don't particularly care for by themselves. You drop them into a yummy cranberry jello salad along with diced apple, pineapple, and cottage cheese. We eat it for Thanksgiving and Christmas and we call it "pink stuff". You have to have canned cranberry sauce and cranberry jello. Many variations exist for this recipe. Bon appetit!

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