Marshmallow is a soft, spongy white candy made from sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin, with perhaps egg whites and flavoring. Sometimes it’s covered with sugar, chocolate, or coconut.
Before this kind of candy was invented, people in England sometimes ate a candy made with the root of a plant called the marsh mallow. This plant grows in marshy areas, and belongs to the same family as the cotton plant.
The name of the marsh mallow was transferred to the candy we call marshmallow because the candy looks something like the cottony seed pods of the plant. But the root of the marsh mallow is never used today to make marshmallows.