In preparation for making these…
… which represent another page in my portfolio of baking that tastes nice but looks like it was made by an enthusiastic class of primary school children, I was shopping for marshmallows. And in the aisle of sweets, I found these.
They are 'no added sugar' marshmallows. This was a revelation. I had been of the opinion that marshmallows are essentially only sugar. So no added sugar would just mean no bigger than normal. Yes? No. Incorrect. There are also all kinds of ingredients of dark magic which are involved in the creative process, principally to give a marshmallow its faintly sinister texture. With that in mind, whether this extra sugar that has not been added means more than usual, or just some, I don't know but it seems to signify the difference between 'mallows' and 'marshmallows'. In this context, of course, 'marsh' is derived from the Old English word 'myrrshe' which means having some flavour, or being vaguely acceptable to the palate.
The fact is, when I've made a decision to eat a marshmallow, I've surrendered myself totally to sugar and all its thrillingly squalid charm. In those moments, I don't want saving. If you fancy a marshmallow stripped of its flavour-giving component, you could perhaps go and chew on some of those foam ear plugs you get in an in-flight goody bag (which is also what these 'mallows' look like on the front of the bag). Before you've used them for their intended purpose, obviously. Because as any four-year-old will tell you, ear wax tastes disgusting.
However, and anyway, as if appearing in some sort of nightmarish cautionary tale for children, warning against the consumption of too many sweets containing pork gelatine, my hand here looks very much as though it is growing into a pig's trotter.