Thursday, December 13, 2007

Trader Joe’s Peppermint Marshmallows

Trader Joe's Peppermint MarshmallowsAs disappointed as I was that the Peppermint Peep Stars had artificial sweeteners, I was just as excited to see that Trader Joe’s has Peppermint Marshmallows that are not only all natural, but also Kosher! (Which basically means that they’re using Kosher gelatin, which is non-porcine.)

However, Nicole at Baking Bites already had a review of them, which didn’t say they were bad, just that she wasn’t thrilled with the flavor. I still really wanted to try them, especially because it was Hanukkah.

The large marshmallow cubes come in a little tub and weigh a hefty 7 ounces. The packaging was a bit, well, feminine with all its pink and green-ness. But it was refreshingly un-holiday, which might mean that they’d be an all-year product. When they say that they’re all natural, they’re not kidding. The pink swirls are created with red radish juice.

Trader Joe's Peppermint MarshmallowsThey’re only vaguely pink with some little streaks of darker pink inside some of them. They were very hard to get out of the tub. The first one I mangled (but put back together for the photo) so I just dumped the whole tub out and lightly teased them apart. (Perhaps some waxed paper between them in the future?)

They felt very strange and fleshy in the hand. A little bouncy, a little latexy and not terribly light for a marshmallow. The outer texture was a little grainy, I’m guessing where the moisture of the marshmallow mixed with the sugar and dusting of corn starch. They smell like peppermint, but on the medicinal side somehow. Like toothpaste. And maybe mentholated rubbing alcohol.

The first time I bit into one I was puzzled and repulsed. I made my husband and a neighbor try it. They were both, well, not thrilled (and I had to give them something nice to eat after that). I waited a couple of days and dug around into the bottom of the tub to see if that was just a bad couple of squares.

It’s like eating toothpaste. They’re kind of fluffy, but not light. The texture is grainy, like a sugar paste. I can only imagine this is a bad batch because Nicole’s looked more like marshmallows and less like wads of chewed bread dough.

I went back and looked at Nicole’s photo and realized that this must be a bad batch. My best indication for this is that the tub weighed over 10 ounces (the marked weight is 7). So I went back to the store on Hyperion in Silverlake. All of the others on the shelf looked the same and were the same lot number, so I passed (and obviously picked up a bunch of other goodies you’ve been reading about this week). I also told the manager on duty that there was something wrong with them. I figured another store would have a different batch. So today I went off on my lunch break to the location on Third and La Brea. Sadly I didn’t memorize the lot number and ended up buying the same lot (1101071730 exp 01/26/2008) and finding the same grainy consistency (and this package weighed 9.8 ounces according to my postage scale).

I shouldn’t have to work this hard. (I haven’t decided if I’m going to take these back. At $4, I want something that’s at least the intended quality, even if I don’t like it.)

As far as buying artisan marshmallows, I’d say stick with either one of the actual artisan companies (Plush Puffs, Little Flower Candy Company & Boule are some good Los Angeles-based ones) or go for the French ones from Arnaud Soubeyran or the Williams Sonoma house brand (I tried them last year but never got around to reviewing them, they’re very dense and latexy but really satisfying). Or just get some Jet Puffed. It’s sad, because these are the first Kosher marshmallows I’ve found.

Related Candies

  1. GudFud Stuffed Marshmallows
  2. Frankford Marshmallow Hearts
  3. Artisan Marshmallows: Plush Puffs
  4. See’s Scotchmallow
Name: Peppermint Marshmallows
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Trader Joe's
Place Purchased: Trader Joe's (Silverlake & 3rd and La Brea)
Price: $3.99
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 60
Categories: Mint, Marshmallow, United States, Trader Joe's, All Natural, Kosher, Christmas

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:43 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Yours do look a bit deflated.  I bought some and they are quite strong.  I haven’t eaten any on their own, but have had one on top of my hot cocoa a couple of times—they melt beautifully and are quite yummy when tempered with the flavor of the cocoa.

    Comment by Julie on 12/13/07 at 11:53 am #
  2. I tried them out of the box and thought they were horrible. Then I put half of one in some hot cocoa, that was much much better.

    Comment by fightin mad mary on 12/13/07 at 12:28 pm #
  3. They are very, very strong. I can’t eat them alone. I’ve only been able to use them in cocoa. Way too pricey to buy again just to float them in cocoa. Stick with the candy cane Joe-Joe’s—they are THE BEST.

    Comment by Kim on 12/13/07 at 2:30 pm #
  4. You should have a scary tag, too.  Not scary like halloween, but scary like this.

    Comment by Dave on 12/13/07 at 2:56 pm #
  5. haha!  The universe is conspiring against you!  You and these marshmallows were just not meant to be.  smile

    Comment by Elise on 12/13/07 at 3:25 pm #
  6. My husband has been having some with hot chocolate, and I just now had smores made with them and they were great with both, but I’m not that fond of them just plain. I think they need a little something to temper the mintiness.

    Comment by Grace on 12/13/07 at 3:37 pm #
  7. Yeah, the only reason I didn’t come right out and say that they were bad is because I know some people who really enjoyed them melted into their hot chocolate. My true confession is that I actually spit out the first one I bit into =)

    Comment by Nic on 12/13/07 at 3:38 pm #
  8. I wouldn’t eat those.

    Comment by Shannon on 12/13/07 at 3:44 pm #
  9. That has to be the least appetizing photo on this site.

    I always see Elyon kosher ‘mallows at Whole Foods.

    Comment by LK on 12/14/07 at 5:05 am #
  10. Kosher Marshmallows, covered in toasted coconut, available around Passover time, in your local grocery store.


    Comment by Karen on 12/14/07 at 6:32 am #
  11. I bought these for cocoa; they’re WAY too strong (for me personally) to eat straight out of the container!

    However, they’re very nice in cocoa. They melt in your mouth and the coolness of the peppermint oil is a wonderful contrast to the heat of the liquid. A very satisfying beverage experience. smile

    Comment by Lesley on 12/14/07 at 6:49 am #
  12. They were sampling these at my local Trader Joe’s in hot chocolate and they were repulsive.  I actually threw away my drink.  They didn’t melt like a regular marshmallow. They left a grainy film on top of the drink.

    Comment by Marie on 12/14/07 at 7:43 am #
  13. ughhh, so strong… and I had such high hopes for them!

    Comment by Coco on 12/14/07 at 7:50 am #
  14. I was surprised you didn’t review the TJ’s Chocolate Palette—the pack of ten bars from all over the world.  These are amazing to the point where my formerly non-chocoholic boyfriend (I converted him) insisted we buy a backup of these yesterday.

    Comment by Heidi on 12/18/07 at 4:55 am #
  15. I tried my first cube when I first got them and was perturbed by the taste. Waited for hubby to come home for him to try and he wasn’t too thrilled.  I dropped one into my cup of hot cocoa tonight and it is sooooo meant for the hot cocoa!!  I wish I had known it would go so well together, I would have had a cup every day this week!

    Comment by Kim on 12/28/07 at 6:28 pm #
  16. Bleh! I didn’t like these very much either. A friend’s step-mom bought them for her, and I found them while rummaging through her cupboard looking for something to eat! We both bit into one and then the container and the chewy mess in our mouths went into the trash.

    I think the only way I’d consider eating this is maybe mixed in with hot cocoa.

    Comment by Amy on 1/30/08 at 12:48 am #
  17. I love peppermint, and when I saw that my aunt had these, I got gleeful. After weeks of eying them, I finally got to eat one.

    Honestly, I almost vomited. They have the worst mint flavor I’ve ever tasted. The texture is pretty funky, too.

    Comment by Hannah on 4/18/08 at 2:42 pm #
  18. You can find kosher marshmallows at the South Asian/Middle Eastern stores along 3rd st, between Alexandria and Western (Swadesh, Asian Food Mart, New Pardes and Royal Jafran)—they are usually labeled “halal” (the muslim version of kosher). I am not a marshmallow connoisseur, but my husband likes them. I’ve been looking online to see whether anyone has made fondant from kosher/halal marshmallows and whether it would work the same as regular ones.

    Comment by aisha on 6/06/08 at 2:39 pm #
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