Marshmallow vs Meringue – What Is The Difference?

Are you in the process of making a dessert? Are you wondering whether to use marshmallow or meringue? Are they interchangeable, even? Well, it depends if they are different. So today, I’d like to break down whether this is the case. Let’s find out, shall we?

So, what is the difference between marshmallows vs. meringue? The main difference between marshmallow and meringue is the use of egg whites and gelatin. Marshmallows typically include gelatin, which gives them an elastic and spongy semi-set texture. Meringue uses whisked egg whites instead, given them a different flaky and crisp texture.

Of course, in order for us to run a fair comparison, we need to look at each one in isolation.

What they are, what they are made of, etc.

So let us now do just that…

What Are Marshmallows?

Marshmallow are a type of sweet semi-soft confectionery often used as a filling, or eaten on their own.

They are a chewy, airy confection with a light flavor and consistency.

Marshmallows are often incorporated into other foods, beverages (like hot cocoa) and desserts, or eaten exclusively on their own (typically melted).

Marshmallows
Marshmallows on Hot Cocoa

What Are Marshmallows Made Of?

Marshmallows are typically made from sugar, water and gelatin (and air). Sometimes they contain corn syrup and other preservatives and additives.

Marshmallows are typically found in pink and white colors, and are formed into different sizes and shapes, namely rounded cubes.

What Are Meringues?

Meringues are a type of sweet confectionary that are often used in confections and deserts.

Meringues are typically found in white and beige colors, and are formed into oval shapes with a tailed finish.

Meringue
Meringue, Cream and Fruit

What Are Meringues Made Of?

Meringues are typically made from stiffly beaten egg whites and sugar. Caster and icing sugar is often used.

Meringues are mostly made via whisking and baking.

When To Use Marshmallows and Meringues

While meringues can be eaten alone, they are often served alongside other sweet foods, such as fruits and cream and served as a dessert. Marshmallows on the other hand, are more commonly eaten alone, added to hot beverages (such as cocoa), or served with biscuits and chocolate.

Perhaps most commonly, marshmallows are often roasted over an open fire pit (via a stick).

The gelatin they are made make them melt into a satisfying gooey texture.

Otherwise, they can be eaten directly via the bag with your fingers.

Meringues on the other hand, are best served as a dessert and often eaten with a fork/spoon.

Some of the best fruits to pair meringue with include: strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.

Lastly

Marshmallows are not meringues, and meringues are not marshmallows.

While they certainly do have similarities, these are ultimately made of different things.

More specifically gelatin and egg white.

And as such the process of making them is entirely different too.

The result, two different types of confectionary that have different textures and different use cases.

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