This weekend was a fairly good one. Errands were run, tasks accomplished, and the weather was awesome. The Narrator and I even managed to have one of our most successful fishing days to date- he out-fished me 2-1 and caught our only bass while I struggled to keep the sun fish from taking all my worms. I hate those things- either the hook was too big and they ate the worms, or the hook was too small and they swallowed the whole damn thing. Plus, you can’t eat them, so while I struggled with them, my son kept hooking impressive catches and laughing at my misfortune the whole time.
Yesterday we did very little, but ended the day around the fire pit cooking hot dogs and making s’mores. Between my attending to the fire and keeping The Narrator from kicking his “Thomas The Tank Engine” ball into the flames, and my wife doing everything she could to keep Mini-Me in his stroller to keep him from actively learning about fire- we mulled over one of the greatest questions of our time.
Were we roasting marshmallows? Or toasting them? My wife, who is far smarter than I in many forms, suggested that the difference lay not in the method of heat application, but in the intent with which the treats are cooked- she says, for example, that if you set out to do nothing but heat and eat marshmallows, you are roasting them. If, however, you decide you are going to do something else- such as use them on a s’more, or alongside something else, then you are toasting them.
Me? I can’t wrap my head around something that complex, and figured that there has to be some official cooking definitions which would clarify the difference one and for all. I also wonder if the differences aren’t so subtle that the interchangability of the two terms is, in fact- socially acceptable. That being said, I will not be guilty of a faux pas in terminology, and shall continue to approach the subject in a public setting in such the same manner that I approach a pregnant female- ignore it completely until someone else brings it up. I could resort to the politically correct dance-around and simply refer to the process as ‘cooking’ marshmallows, but that smacks of laziness and an unwillingness to become educated in the matter once and for all.
Perchance someone can help me out.
Inevitably, the matter was not settled, although for lack of a better explanation I did accept my wife’s theory that the difference is strictly semantics.
What WILL remain hotly (haha) contested, is the matter on just how…. ‘well done’ a marshmallow should be when you are considering consumption.
I am a firm believer that a properly
roasted… toasted….. dammit- COOKED- marshmallow should take some time, and end up with a slightly browned exterior which gently holds in a soft center which could still be scientifically classified as a solid.
My lovely wife, however- insists that a marshmallow needs to be heated to the point where it becomes fully involved, charring the outside to the point where it resembles either a charcoal briquette or something launched from a trireme under the label of “Greek Fire.” The center? Molten. We’re talking scalding liquid that could be used to pour into the faces of invaders trying to scale a castle wall sort of molten. (Man, I’m on with the history references today.)
So- Where do you stand?
- Do you roast marshmallows? Or, do you toast marshmallows? Perhaps you are like me and avoid the delicate conundrum altogether until someone resolves it for you in a social setting. Or, are you the bold and adventurous type who continues to interchange the term, never once caring who you might offend with your cavalier attitude on the matter?
- As far as preparation goes- do you prefer your marshmallows cooked properly so that they still resemble a foodstuff? Or, would you rather it end up resembling something that a distraught villager might carry on his way to storm Frankenstein’s castle?
These are questions which begged to be answered, and a simple husband-wife team cannot conclude such matters on our own. Much research is warranted. Studies must be conducted, polls polled, and and data compiled.
The very existence of civility around summer campfires rests in your hands.