8 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Marshmallows

Marshmallows, the darling basis of the near-choke game Chubby Bunny and the only thinkable snack of forest storytelling, are strange.

Marshmallows, the darling basis of the near-choke game Chubby Bunny and the only thinkable snack of forest storytelling, are strange.

Their spongy consistency and alien-like, modernist take on confectionary art make it a unique munchie that you can use for hot cocoa, fruit dip, or sweet potatoes. But there’re some things about marshmallows you may not know.

1. Ancient Civilizations Used Marshmallow Root To Treat Everything From Toothaches to Coughs, To Sore Throats


Bring on the marshmallow medicine! Photo: @neko_courtney / Instagram

Yes, marshmallows were initially made from a plant, Althaea Officinalis or the common marshmallow. While there’s no epic dictionary-sized report about the medical practice, the Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks were known to use sap extracts from the marshmallow root as a go-to remedy, typically in tea form.

Even modern-day marshmallows (which no longer include the root in their recipe) can potentially ease sore throat pain, given the gelatin’s ability to coat and smooth.

2. Astronauts Used Marshmallows As Nose Plugs


Really hope they didn’t eat them after. Photo: @jackberan / Instagram

Due to the detrimental pressure of liftoff, astronauts have periodically used marshmallows to keep their nasal membranes from being wrecked to all hell.

With marshmallows pushed up their nose, the fluffy snacks expand in cabin decompression without the astronaut’s nose sustaining damage while still allowing them to breath.

3. Marshmallows Were Considered A Delicacy Reserved For Nobility, Pharaohs, And Gods


Uh, I don’t know about you but I still consider them a delicacy. Photo: @squishmarsh / Instagram

A millennia ago, marshmallow sap was used to create candied delicacies that also included honey and grains that weren’t for children. They weren’t even available for most adults either. The sweet snack was for nobility, pharaohs, and gods while the youths of Egypt had to rely on natural sugary offerings like figs.

4. Marshmallows, As You Know Them Today, Were Created In France And Perfected In Illinois


Way to take it home, Illinois! Photo: @kauaimoma / Instagram

In the 1800s, the French crafted the modern marshmallow when chefs realized they could whip marshmallow saw with egg whites and corn syrup to create a moldable snack.

Fast forward to the 1940s, when Alex Doumak revolutionized the process by running the ingredients through tubes before cutting them into equal pieces and packaging them up.

5. Althaiophobia Is The Legitimate Fear Of Marshmallows


How could you be afraid of something so cute?! Photo: @nicole_rusu / Instagram

Althaiophobia, the fear of marshmallows, is a real thing. We would assume then that Chubby Bunny would be the equivalent of water boarding while the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is likely considered to be the antichrist.

6. There’s A National Toasted Marshmallow Day


And for good reason! Photo: @mmisscupcakes / Instagram

The tasty holiday is August 30th, just 20 days after it’s brethren National S’Mores Day. Still, it makes sense, given that more than half of all marshmallows sold in the summertime end up toasted over a fire.

Surprisingly, there is no plain old National Marshmallow Day. Apparently it’s toasted or nothing at all.

7. The Largest S’more Ever Made Weighed 267 Pounds


And you thought this s’more looked big. Photo: @dailyfoodfeed / Instagram

Made on May 31, 2014, in Gardners Pennsylvania, the largest s’more ever — as currently recognized by Guinness — came to be in 4.5 hours at the Deer Run Camping Resort with the help of 104 volunteers.

8. Just Born Makes Enough Peeps Each Year To Circle The Earth Twice


They’re taking over!! Photo: @candy.licious / Instagram

Peeps, the beloved Easter marshmallow confection, have changed a lot — or at least, its process has. Back in 1953, it used to take approximately 27 hours to create a single peep, whereas now it only takes six minutes. The eyes were even hand painted. These days, machines paint eyes for 3,500 peeps per minute.