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A kosher marshmallow is a type of soft, spongy dessert created with gelatin made from fish or other animals that are designated as kosher. Specifically, kosher foods are qualified by the Jewish Rabbinate in Israel as being fit to eat according to Jewish law. Kosher marshmallows are usually featured in bite-sized forms, but are also sometimes featured as spreads and fillings.
Whereas non-kosher marshmallows typically include gelatin that is made by using ingredients garnered from non-kosher animals, kosher marshmallows are suitable for a kosher diet since this type of gelatin is not included. Kosher marshmallow varieties are often missing in mainstream supermarkets in many parts of the world. They are generally offered, however, in kosher markets and areas with large Jewish populations, as well as through kosher food websites.
Marshmallows are a favored dessert often included in special dinner recipes. Examples of such recipes include sweet potatoes that are baked until soft and topped with toasted marshmallows. Specialty dishes like these are often enjoyed during traditional holidays and at large family gatherings. Cooking with marshmallows can be difficult for those who adhere to a kosher diet, however. In order that people on such diets may still enjoy marshmallow flavoring, kosher marshmallows were created.
Just like with regular marshmallows, the kosher marshmallow is often sold in bite-sized pieces. Some are also sold in miniature sizes. Most marshmallows are white, but some manufacturers do sell marshmallows featured in various pastel colors. Recipes that call for a marshmallow spread or a marshmallow filling can also be substituted with kosher marshmallows.
Various recipes for making marshmallows can be found in cookbooks and online recipe websites. While kosher marshmallow recipes are sometimes more difficult to find, they do exist and some enjoy creating these desserts as a special hobby or activity. Some people specifically engage in making kosher marshmallows at certain times of the year, such as during the Jewish Passover.
While the kosher marshmallow is often enjoyed as a snack, a topping or as a flavoring ingredient, some manufacturers tout it as a healthier alternative to other marshmallow varieties that are not kosher. The primary reason for this is that some kosher marshmallow brands are lower in cholesterol and some manufacturers even advertise that their brands contain no cholesterol whatsoever. While the kosher marshmallow is popular among Jewish populations, vegetarians and others also purchase them because they are considered a healthier snack choice than regular marshmallows.