There are marshmallow lovers, and there are marshmallow lovers. The casual marshmallow lover appreciates its existence, thinking of it as the basis for an exceptionally rich sundae topping, a perfect item for roasting over a fire, an essential ingredient in "S'mores,” a sweet treat that encourages children to eat their cereal, or even an occasionally sinful palate-cleanser to eat right out of the bag.

The legendary marshmallow "Peep" takes this product to a whole new level. For the uninitiated: These are marshmallows that have been coated with colored sugar and shaped to look like birds, animals, people, and...well, you name it. Believe it or not, there’s a marshmallow peep fan club online, and its membership numbers are formidable. The website features an image gallery that’s worth visiting for the Peep version of Munch's "The Scream" alone. YouTube's extensive collection of marshmallow Peep videos includes a 9-minute Peep version of "Jaws," really something to see.

Ever wonder what’s in a marshmallow? Recipes for homemade ones are likely to contain sugar (40-48%!), glucose, water, gelatin, lemon juice, salt, corn syrup, vanilla extract, flavoring, and coloring. Manufactured ones generally add cream of tartar or citric acid. Warning: if the marshmallows contain egg whites, don’t eat them. The egg white is uncooked, making it a health hazard, especially in tropical areas.

Marshmallows Shelf Life
Marshmallow Cream3-4 months
Marshmallows2-3 months
Boyer, Renee, and Julie McKinney. "Food Storage Guidelines for Consumers." Virginia Cooperative Extension (2009): n. pag. Web. 7 Dec 2009.

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