Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Yes. That, above, is a marsh mallow. They are native to northern Africa, but it's been naturalized just about everywhere. All the way back to the ancient Egyptians, it was used medicinally. The roots produce this goo ('mucilage') that soothes sore throats and helps acidic upset stomach. Some folk used it on their skin, like a moisturizing lotion. They're also grown all over as an ornamental; see how pretty they are? They're related to hollyhocks, hibiscus, and even (distantly) chocolate.
Back in the day (a couple-three hundred years ago), French confectioners used the goo in the roots to make what we know as proto marchmallows-the-candy. They'd whip the goo, add sugar, and other flavorings like rosewater.
These days, since marsh mallows aren't easy to farm, we imitate htem instead with egg whites instead of root goo.
Hmmm. Homemade marshmallows for Christmas, instead of some of the cookies. Yeah. I can do that.
at 9:26 PM