Looking for some fun dinner table discussion this Thanksgiving? Here’s a controversial topic that’s sure to get your family riled up without even having to say “Donald Trump.” Turns out the marshmallow-topped holiday staple known as sweet potato casserole was actually invented by a marshmallow company to help sell more marshmallows. Now that’s a sweet conspiracy theory!
Once you hear it, the whole thing makes a lot of sense — marshmallows alongside savory dishes on the dinner table? No self-respecting chef would ever stoop that low – especially during the holiest of all eating holidays: Thanksgiving. It’s the kind of devilish plan only some evil candy-shilling mastermind could come up with.
USA Today recently resurrected discussion of the marshmallow industry’s scheme, citing a 2011 article in Saveur that offers up this explanation: “In 1917, the marketers of Angelus Marshmallows hired Janet McKenzie Hill, founder of the Boston Cooking School Magazine, to develop recipes for a booklet designed to encourage home cooks to embrace the candy as an everyday ingredient. It featured plenty of instant classics, including fudge studded with chewy marshmallows; cups of hot cocoa dotted with them; and, yes, the first documented appearance of mashed sweet potatoes baked with a marshmallow topping.”