Once you get a bag of marshmallows and start eating, the thought of ‘do marshmallows go bad’ must have crossed your mind when you couldn’t finish the bag. Like any other food item, marshmallows also go bad. They hardly last 6 to 8 months after their Best By date.
You might have noticed that they get slightly stickier when you leave them open. That’s how you know you don’t have long until they go completely bad. However, the shelf life of marshmallows depends on how you store them as well as the Best Before date.
If you have any kind of question regarding the longevity of marshmallows, you have come to the right place. We will cover everything from how they go bad to storage and clear all of your doubts and questions.
What Are Marshmallows Anyway?
Marshmallows are soft, fluffy, little sugar candies. If you ignore the fact that they are made of pure sugar and might cause diabetes if you eat too much, marshmallows are little bites of joy and happiness, which releases stress – you get where we are going with this.
Anyway, the procedure of making a marshmallow is all about whipping air into sugar. That’s how it gets soft and fluffy. The procedure is very easy. All you need to do is dissolve sugar and gelatin in water and intensely whip it so that the air enters the mixture in small pockets.
According to Bon Appétit, European marshmallows taste much better than the American ones and are denser in consistency. But we think all marshmallows are good.
The good thing is that the recipe is so easy that you can make homemade marshmallows if you don’t trust the quality of packaged food. However, your marshmallows will turn out to be a mix between the American and European styles, which also taste amazing.
How Long Do Marshmallows Last? Do Marshmallows Go Bad?
The shelf life of marshmallows depends on the producer and brand. Every bag of marshmallow comes with its own Best Before date.
If the bag of the marshmallows is unopened, it will usually last up to 8 months or till the expiry date written on the package. It should even be fine for a few weeks after the expiry date.
When it comes to an open bag of marshmallows, it is believed that it is better for you to consume it as soon as possible. A quality bag of marshmallows should last at least a week or so before they start getting sticky or hard.
However, if you follow the proper steps and keep them in a tightly sealed jar, they should be able to last for weeks.
The actual life really depends on the producer. Some producers urge that a package of marshmallows should be finished within 2-3 days, but the taste and softness of the candies can last at least a week. If you get a cheap brand, it might get hard within 3 days after opening, but regardless of the quality you buy, marshmallows will eventually lose taste and get hard with time.
Freezing marshmallows is the best way to store them and keep them in their original form for more than a month. Even if the marshmallows get hard in the freezer, they return to their original form if you let them warm up.
However, even after freezing the marshmallows, they will only stay edible before the expiry date written on the package.
How to Tell If the Marshmallows Are Bad?
While marshmallows come in different colors now, the basic color is white and when the white color starts to turn light yellowish, that’s when you know your marshmallows might be going bad.
If you leave a bag of marshmallows for too long in the pantry or in a humid or moist place, it will definitely go bad and the first sign will be a change in its taste and appearance. We all know that marshmallows are very soft and fluffy and have a sweet, mild aroma, but when they go bad, they will turn hard and smell bad.
If you store the marshmallows improperly, they will get sticky and stuck together. However, the stickiness doesn’t indicate that they have gone bad. It only occurs because of the melted sugar. It is definitely a sign, though, that they are old.
You should also remember to keep the seal tight because due to their sweetness, plenty of bugs, especially ants, are attracted toward them and ruin them. Thus, if the seal is loose, you should not eat it.
How to Store Marshmallows Properly?
Although the ingredients added in marshmallows make them stable, you will still have to follow a few important steps to store them. You can check out these steps on wikiHow as well.
If the package is unopened, it should be placed in a dark and cool place in room temperature or slightly lower (source). Thus, a cupboard in a kitchen or pantry is a good option. However, if you live in a tropical place where the weather is usually hot, you might want to store it in the refrigerator or else the marshmallow will melt and stick to each other.
If the package is open, to keep marshmallows fresh, you will need to keep them in a tightly sealed jar as they will get hard when you expose them to air.
Marshmallows also pick odors from the environment, which can be a problem if you store them in the fridge. The moisture in the fridge can also ruin marshmallows. To avoid all of these problems, you should get an airtight container and store the open package of marshmallows in it.
If the marshmallows get sticky even after storing them in an airtight container, you can try sprinkling corn starch evenly on them.
If you have a lot of marshmallows left to eat, you can freeze them. Freezing marshmallows is actually the best way to keep them from going bad. This way, they can stay fresh for up to 6 months.