Marshmellow or Marshmallow? Which is correct?

When you hear people say “marshmallow” in English, it can sometimes sound like, “marshmellow.” But the correct spelling will always be “marshmallow.” This sugary sweet and tasty treat is an American and European classic that goes on a host of desserts and hot drinks, like cocoa.

Aside from its use in the English language, the marshmallow has enjoyed a long and interesting history dating back to ancient Egypt.

What Is a Marshmallow; How Is It Made?

A marshmallow is a sugar-based confection. People used to make it in the early 19th century with root sap from the mallow plant along with egg whites and sugar. This produced a light, fluffy texture that feels like a sweet cloud overwhelming the mouth.

When the French began making marshmallows, they incorporated cornstarch, which helped make things go faster and gives marshmallows the unforgettable form we enjoy today. However, modern manufacturing and production of marshmallows is much different.

Modern Marshmallows

Root sap is no longer an ingredient, opting for gelatin instead. While sugar and corn starch are still part of the recipe, there’s also corn syrup. The factory will mix these together and pipe it through a long tube, which eventually gets cut into equal pieces.

The marshmallows that come in shapes during Easter have different kinds of nozzles. The most popular brand is Peeps, taking on the appearance of bunnies and baby chicks.

From Where Does the Word “Marshmallow” Come?

“Marshmallow” comes from the Old English mersc-mealwe, referring to a mallow plant growing near salt marshes. The sweet confection’s first documented use as “marshmallow” was in 1877. This came from both the plant’s native home in Europe and Asia as well as the name of the plant itself.

What Is the History of Marshmallows?

The first people to enjoy what we now know to be marshmallows were the ancient Egyptians as far back as 2000 BC. It was a very special treat considered appropriate only for deities and the pharaoh. They would squeeze the root sap and mix it with honey along with nuts.


Marshmallows are wonderful sticky and sugary sweet treats people in Europe and America have enjoyed for well over a century. The word stems from its original source, which is the marshmallow plant. When some people say the word “marshmallow” in English today, it sounds like “marshmellow,” but this isn’t correct.