Sleeping under the stars is fine and all, but the best part of camping is the food that comes with spending the night outdoors. I don't know if it's cooking over a fire or a primal instinct implying this might be my last meal, but food cooked on a campfire is some of the best there is.
As a fan of sugar, fire and cooking outdoors, I've become a fan of marshmallows and the versatile dessert options they offer. In honor of National Toasted Marshmallow Day (which is today, for those of you new to celebrating dessert holidays) here are a few of my favorite things to do with the sugary confection. Pull up a camp chair and check them out.
Show off my marshmallow knowledge: Did you know that marshmallows, in their earliest form, originated in Egypt? They did. The root of the marsh-mallow plant was used in conjunction with honey to treat sore throats and was mixed with nuts and honey as a candy-like treat. The modern marshmallow is believed to have originated in France, where candy makers had the innovative idea of whipping the paste to achieve a lighter, fluffier texture.
Toast them: Toasting marshmallows is something everyone can do. Small children require supervision since they are sticking things in fire and then trying to eat from said things, but minimum intervention from parents can make it work. Opinions vary on how toasty a marshmallow should be when you eat it, but I like the outside fully toasted (without lighting on fire) and the inside squishy.
Toast them and add them to other things: Once you've mastered the art of marshmallow toasting, you can move on to more complicated dishes, like s'mores. Traditional s'mores consist of graham crackers, pieces of chocolate bars and a toasted marshmallow stacked in a sandwich configuration. Advanced maneuvers include tucking the chocolate inside the hot marshmallow for maximum melt and branching out from plain chocolate bars to ones with nuts, coconut or caramel filling.
Make giant toasted things: Innovations in the candy market have led to oversized marshmallows, ideal for giant open-face s'more sandwiches. The extra-large nature of these marshmallows means you can toast the outside layer and peel it off to eat at the perfect doneness, no need to worry about under-cooking the inside. Just stick it back in the fire and begin again.
Eat them plain: When the toasting is done or you can't be bothered to stoke the fire, you can eat raw marshmallows. Since they're crafted mainly of sugar and are designed to be shelf-stable, there's nothing to worry about when you pop an uncooked marshmallow into your mouth.
Stop eating them: Even after you've had your fill of marshmallows, there are likely to be some left over. Play a game like chubby bunny, where you see who can stick the most marshmallows in their mouth at a time, or have a marshmallow war using guns and bows to launch the squishy projectiles at your opponents.
How will you celebrate National Toasted Marshmallow Day? What's your favorite thing to do with marshmallows?
Posted by Jessica Gezon