A Very Dark Truth Bomb Was Just Dropped About The Marshmallows In Lucky Charms

February 01, 2019

Let me start out by giving an unpopular opinion. Unlike every other kid out there, I actually liked both parts of Lucky Charms. Yes, the marshmallow part of Lucky Charms were supreme — but there was something about the oats that tasted like no other. Probably because they were a very special treat in our house. My parents weren’t totally health nuts, but they did have an inkling that marshmallows wouldn’t make for a nutritious breakfast.

But there was a big loophole that I missed as a child. The marshmallows in Lucky Charms looked and tasted completely different than the marshmallows in my S’Mores and in my Swiss Miss packet. So, could they actually be called marshmallows?

Sorry, kids — I’m not here to announce that the Lucky Charms marshmallows — also known as marbits — are actually nutritious. In fact, if they were called what they actually are, parents would be pretty set on putting it back on the grocery store shelves. Delish did a report on what’s inside the actual marshmallows and ended up finding an interview that was posted to Yahoo! back in 2014.

The interview was with pastry chef Alex Levin, who stated that the marshmallows were “made to be a candy, really.”

Levin would know, as he makes plenty of marshmallows. Supposedly, marshmallows come in two categories. The first is confectionary.

You, yourself, probably have a few confectionary marshmallows in your house. They’re dense and made to last a pretty long time.

Levin said that cereal marshmallows also fall into this category. Which, in itself, might actually be a bit generous.

“Lucky Charms uses a method of making marshmallows that minimizes the amount of water,” Levin explained. “That makes it so shelf-stable that you could have a marshmallow that lasts over a year.” So, for cereal, it’s the best option.

If you went to a fancy restaurant and ordered a dessert, there’s a better chance you’d find a pâte de guimauve marshmallow. The main difference between the two? The latter has egg whites added in.

As you can imagine, that difference makes them lighter and silkier. Both have their place in the world.

However, in the culinary world, usually, the pâte de guimauve variety is what chefs go to when they need marshmallow for a certain product.

So to answer the question, yes —Lucky Charms marshmallows are marshmallows, but they’re really at the bottom of the chain. It’s kind of like if you went out for sandwiches and ordered a hot dog. It’s technically a sandwich, but not really.

For many of us, Lucky Charms marshmallows were actually our introduction to marshmallows all together. They helped make the introduction of those giant Jet-Puffed marshmallows even more magical. Two confectionary marshmallows, but two totally different products.

So, while we’re on the topic, where does marshmallow creme (Fluff) fit in? The spread is best known for Fluffernutter sandwiches, which was the ultimate treat growing up (and saved for very, very special occasions.)

It’s not the greatest sandwich for you, but it sure does taste like childhood. Since it’s a product that has a longer shelf-life, this is probably more in tune with the marshmallows you know and love. Even though technically, it does include egg whites.

Marshmallows are definitely what set Lucky Charms apart. Debuting in 1964, they’re the first cereal to include marshmallows. As you know, plenty of other cereals followed.

Product developer John Holahan got the idea when he tried to mix circus peanuts (that orange, peanut-shaped marshmallow that’s kinda tasteless) and Cheerios together. The taste was like nothing else out there. But it still wasn’t an instant hit.

In fact, the cereal started coating their oats in sugar when they realized sales were lagging. So, marshmallows just weren’t enough.

It’s pretty fascinating to know that circus peanuts were the inspiration behind the cereal. They’re not everyone’s favorite candy — and some people (ahem, me) downright hate them — but at least you can appreciate the influence they brought.

Seriously. People have intense opinions about circus peanuts — which are also confectionary — so this might change some minds around.

Just think. The cereal could have been circus peanuts and oats, which would have probably been an instant fail.

Even though the marshmallows have changed up throughout the years, it’d be strange to see either circus peanuts or the gourmet version of marshmallows in boxes instead. Things are pretty good the way they are, so why mess with perfection?