Sweet potato and marshmallow stew story | News & Observer

As a holiday deteriorate is staid to start a glittery trot toward us, a biggest doubt is not salsa or stuffing, jellied or whole berry, or even Elf on a Shelf or The Grinch.

The biggest unanswered holiday doubt is: How did marshmallows get on tip of a honeyed potato casserole?

This time of a tuber, that runs until a final wing is eaten on New Year’s Day, is also a time of a squishy, honeyed balloons. Whether it’s a full-sized marshmallows, that dawdle around like snowmen in a feverishness wave, or a little ones, that spin a tip to a cobblestone corridor of sugar, it’s formidable to mark a honeyed potato stew in a furious though them.

Even my grandmother – a prudent nation prepare who done her possess jams, pink pickles, rolls, pies and cakes – would collect adult a bag of marshmallows this time of year. She’d dip out orange halves and brew a pap with baked honeyed potato, afterwards adorn a aspect with mini marshmallows.

We kids during her Thanksgiving list suspicion dessert had come during a meal, in a form of sweetened treats in a parent-approved unfeeling form. We precious them.

Me, we have too most honour for a honeyed potato to noise an atmosphere mattress with a week’s value of sugarine on it. Not that we have anything opposite sugarine – my favorite Thanksgiving honeyed potato stew has bourbon, pecans and brownish-red sugar. we don’t wish marshmallows removing in a proceed of a bourbon.

Therefore, we consulted experts – people pre-burning holiday calories during a gym – and found clear preferences concerning full-size marshmallows vs. mini marshmallows.

Mini fans suffer a brown, melted aspect that they offer to a casserole. People who preference a large ones do so precisely since a marshmallows won’t totally melt. They like to munch on a clod of semi-congealed marshmallow along with a antioxidant-packed potato.

Written recipes for honeyed potato casseroles or puddings go behind during slightest to a late 1700s, according to a Library of Congress website, including one in “American Cookery,” that was printed in 1796. That recipe used eggs, divert and nutmeg with a baked honeyed potatoes, though no sugarine during all, and positively no marshmallows. Sugar was costly, and would have been indifferent for special-occasion desserts or tea.

Because honeyed potatoes have been grown in a South for generations – they furnish extravagantly even in bad dirt – casseroles have been around here forever, too, prolonged before commercially constructed marshmallows bounced onto a scene.

Debbie Moose

As it turns out, a marshmallow-topped honeyed potato stew might have been innate in a same place as another oft-maligned though in-demand Thanksgiving dish, a immature bean casserole: in a mind of a marketer.

The strange recipe for immature bean casserole, that my mom called “three-can casserole” (because that’s what it consists of), was combined by a Campbell’s Soup association in 1955 to sell a product. That product, cream of fungus soup, binds a immature beans and supports a canned boiled onion topping.

According to a “The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets,” in 1917 a Chicago association that done Angelus Marshmallows (the same one that combined Cracker Jack, by a way) hired a obvious cookbook author of a time to rise a recipe pamphlet enlivening home cooks to prepare with marshmallows.

Besides congealed salad, solidified fruit salad and marshmallow packet sauce, a pamphlet enclosed a recipe for crushed honeyed potato stew with a marshmallow topping. The other recipes, mercifully, melted away, though a stew stuck.

By a 1920s, honeyed potatoes and marshmallows were seen unresolved out together in cookbooks all over a place. The unholy compare had been made.

Look delicately during a print in a recipe pamphlet (it’s online) and you’ll see square-ish marshmallows on a casserole. Back then, marshmallows were done away in block molds. But 1954 saw a invention of that technological wonder, a marshmallow extruder. The tubular trench shot them out and cut them to size, ensuing in an programmed fusillade of stew toppings such as a universe had never seen before, and that continues to this day.

So, mount back. They’re coming.

Debbie Moose is a freelance food author and cookbook author. She can be reached during debbiemoose.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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