Food - Drink
The Flirty New Jersey Origin Of Marshmallow Roasts
BY MICHELLE WELSCH
The very first marshmallows were used as a kind of lozenge made from marshmallow root sap, eggs, and sugar, but in time, the candy became a fluffy, kid-friendly confection and the plant root was replaced with gelatin. The spongy candies took off with American youth due in part to a series of "flirting" events held in coastal towns.
In the late 1800s, campfire marshmallow roasts were popular events held at resorts along the New Jersey shore, per CBC. The roasts were identified by newspapers as a "fad" and prime places to pick up dates, since youths had the opportunity to sit close to their crushes by a fire and eat marshmallows off each other's sticks.
Young people jumped at these marshmallow roasts as a new way to get close to love interests, and the very newspapers that called the events a "fad" may have turned them into a timeless tradition. Today, countless Americans in Jersey and beyond enjoy summertime marshmallow toasting with family, friends, and significant others.