Our Favorite Fun Food: Marshmallows
What do you get when you mix corn(玉米糖浆) syrup, sugar, gelatin(白明胶), and vanilla(香草), with a lot of hot air and a dash(少量) of corn starch(玉米淀粉)? … A fun food that has been at the enter of a sticky and often heated debate for decades.
Marshmallow(棉花糖,果浆软糖) Fan A: With marshmallows, they have to be burnt. There's no other way. That thing isn't on fire, it's not right.
Marshmallow Fan B: A lot of people burn 'em, and that kinda bugs(打扰) me. I don't, I don't like my marshmallows burnt and I don't like to see them flaming either. I like to just have mine a nice golden brown and soft in the middle.
Marshmallow Fan C: I don't bother cooking marshmallows. I just grab a handful and squish(压扁,压烂) them together and eat them 'till I get sick.
Would you believe the history of these campfire confections(糖果.蜜饯) dates back to ancient Egypt?
More than 4000 years ago the marshes along the Nile were teeming with mallow(锦葵属植物) plants. The roots of these "marsh mallows" produced an edible(可食用的) syrupy substance that was sweet to the taste.
Chris White (Sr. Brand manager, Favorite Brands, Inc.): The ancient Egyptians would extract(榨取,析取), from the mallow root, the sweet sticky substance, mold(塑造) it in to different shapes, and present it to royalty for them to eat at their leisure.
By the seventeenth century, some folks thought marshmallows had medicinal(医学的,药的) qualities. At one point, marshmallows were prescribed(处方，开药) as a sure-fire cure for more than fifty afflictions(痛苦,苦恼). But the marshmallow really didn't capture the public's imagination until the eighteen hundreds, when a Parisian confectioner(糖果商,糖果师傅) revolutionized the recipe.
Chris: By the late eighteen hundreds, the mallow root became very rare, very hard to get, and demand was so high for marshmallows that a lot of new ingredients, like gelatin, replaced the mallow root and made marshmallows a lot more consistent(一致的,调和的) and a lot more tasteful in form. And the result was that marshmallows became more plentiful and it wasn't just the royalty that could get marshmallows then.
In 1948, scientists invented the "jet-puffed" process, making an assembly-line marshmallow which would stay soft longer. Today, this "jet-puffed" factory in Henderson, Nevada, stamps out a large percentage of the hundred and twenty million pounds of tiny white sugar bombs eaten every year in America.
The process begins with a giant vat(大桶) of liquid sweeteners(甜料,甜味佐料) and flavorings that are blended into a thick marshmallow slurry(泥浆,浆). The mixture is pumped into tubes to be "jet-puffed." Here, high powered compressors(压缩物,压缩机) inject air into the creamy substance, fluffing(拍松,抖松) the mixture into miles of puffy rope, which are then dusted with corn starch. After that, they are cut into bite-size sections that give the marshmallows their shape. Once cut, they're cooled, separated, bagged, boxed and shipped.
Then they're torched, roasted, or eaten raw by millions of marshmallow fans around the world.