A few months ago, I bought a fun cocktail ring from my lovely friend Shana. When it arrived, the package included a little candy extra, pictured here:
I’m a cautious tryer of new things, and in truth, a pudding marshmallow sounded nasty. So it sat on my counter untouched for a week or two until a sugar craving made me bold. I tried it. It was love at first marshmallow. It’s a flat little disc of lovely, powdery marshmallow, filled with a sort of nougat version of vanilla pudding. Almost pudding-textured, but not quite. I got hooked fast, and when Shana and I made a pilgrimage out to a flea market in the suburbs, we stopped at the store where she’d bought them and I got more. And then a couple of weeks after that, her kind and funny husband bought a couple more bags and gave them to me and that’s when the fun really started.
To truly appreciate pudding marshmallows, I had to go through several stages of tactile interaction. First and most obvious, unwrap it. Admire its dry, powdery surface, slight sponginess and perfect pillow shape.
Next, a natural curiosity led me to examine the anatomy of the marshmallow. Its marshmallow outside separates in a pleasingly simple fashion from its pudding inside. I enjoy taking them apart in little pieces, savoring the deconstruction. Or eating one whole and seeing how long it takes for the marshmallow part to dissolve. Or peeling the outside off of the inside and eating them separately. Oh, lovely!
One day I was melting silver wire to make ballpins and spied the bag of pudding marshmallows on the counter. I had a brilliant inspiration: toasted pudding marshmallows! I got some chopsticks out of that drawer where you put chopsticks when the chinese food is delivered, and skewered a marshmallow. I discovered quickly that they catch fire pretty fast even from several inches above the flame on my gas stove. Scorched marshmallow, what a waste. It took a little finessing to perfect my technique, but I forged on undaunted, and achieved the pudding marshmallow in its purest form: hot pudding on a stick.
The marshmallow puffs up like magic when toasted. The outside caramelizes to a beautiful crisp texture, and the pudding bit melts into actual pudding. Unadulterated, unholy addiction. The rest of the bag of marshmallows disappeared in three short days.