By Mike Pomranz
Updated November 24, 2015
Credit: © Iain Bagwell / Getty Images

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.”

Saveur doesn’t cite any specific sources for this claim, however, as USA Today points out, the publication was deemed reputable enough to be referenced in a blog post on the history of sweet potatoes from the Library of Congress.

And who is behind the Library of Congress? The government, of course! Apparently, even the government wants us to believe the sweet potato casserole was invented to sell marshmallows. It’s like a conspiracy theory wrapped in a conspiracy theory!