"Marshmallows" by Joseph Wright

Here we see an early frontier family roasting a primitive marshmallow. The children need to be held back while the men wrestle with the rough consistency of this early predecessor to the modern marshmallow. A large iron hammer, there on the left, is used to beat it into submission.

The artist has captured the warmth and mystery of what must have been a common event in the early American frontier. Food was scarce and the capture of an adult marshmallow, such as this one, must have been an occasion for much celebration.

At one time, massive herds of wild marshmallows could be seen thundering over the prairies and were the source of many campfire stories. Ironically, their less robust descendents are now roasted over those very same campfires.

The rapid development of the American frontier and the subsequent draining of the backcountry marshes has led to the demise of the wild marshmallows. The sad economics of todays marshmallow farms have led to the smaller, immature marshmallows that now dominate our supermarket shelves.

-- Sister Randy