The original marshmallow is a plant from Africa. This flowering plant has the scientific name Althaea officinalis, the first word althaea coming from Greek and meaning to heal.  All parts of the plant are used for medicinal purposes, commonly for mouth soars and soar throats.  The ancient Egyptians combined the sap from the root of the plant with nuts and honey to make a sweet treat.  Later the French mixed it with meringue and rose water to make a sweet called pâte de guimauve.  Now we know the marshmallow as a gooey concoction of gelatin, sugar and corn syrup found in the local grocery store; only the sticky texture remains the same.


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