Every adult has a kid lurking inside, and my inner kid loved marshmallows. Well, my inner kid loved anything that contained butter, sugar, chocolate or mayonnaise. My friend Rachel Attwood Mistler, a producer by day has allowed her inner kid to turn a secret obsession into a new business. Let me introduce Sugar Darling Artisinal Marshmallows, made in Brunswick, Maine.
“When I was young, I loved anything that was marshmallow-esque. My favorite candies were Peeps at Easter and those sickly orange candies shaped like peanuts. I’d experiment with them to see how long I could put them in a microwave before they exploded.”
Rachel is a curious and avid cook and she tossed around ideas for a food business for a long time. Then it came to her. Why not just go for it? Why not make marshmallows that are not only delicious and that push all our childhood buttons, but that are made with care and pure ingredients?
“I did a lot of research to launch this business,” she told me recently, “even reading tomes about how sugar bonds and technical things like that. I’ve had a lot of successes and some bad fails (black forest, a disaster and sriracha, disgusting), but I finally developed a formula that works. They are gluten, corn, soy and dairy free and I’m working on a vegan marshmallow too.”
One thing I know about Rachel is this: when she gets hold of an idea, there is nothing keeping her back. So when I saw the marshmallows for sale on her Facebook page the other day, I realized she’d accomplished what she’d set out to do two years ago. We had met for lunch at Wild Oats in Brunswick and she passed me a few plastic bags of different flavors of prototypes. They were delicious. But I had misgivings about sugar.
When I caught up with her the other day, I finally posed my concern. “What about the sugar? It’s so demonized these days”
Sugar Darling mallows are made with pure cane sugar, not high fructose corn syrup, and as Rachel says, “A few marshmallows hand made and with pure ingredients are a fraction of the amount of sugar you’d consume eating an entire muffin or cupcake.” Point made.
“There’s no drink that doesn’t benefit by a few marshmallows.”
“What about beer,” I ask.
Without missing a beat, the mastermind behind Sugar Darling’s says, “A few mallows dropped into a pint of stout would be fantastic.” Sold!