Beer-and-Pretzel-Flavored Marshmallows Keep Flatiron Business Afloat
FLATIRON — It's all of your favorite snacks in one fluffy white cube.
Handmade marshmallows with flavors like beer and pretzel, wasabi ginger, churro, bacon-lettuce-tomato and maple-syrup pancake are springing into popularity thanks to Mitchmallows, an online business started by a Flatiron resident.
Mitchell Greenberg’s marshmallow-making career began three years ago, when he found a recipe for the basic vanilla marshmallow online. He then spent hundreds of hours developing quirky interpretations of the candy, while spending less and less time at his day job as a set designer.
“I just woke up one day and said, ‘I wonder how you make marshmallows,’” said Greenberg, whose eponymous confections can be found at city spots including Brooklyn Victory Garden, and as candy left on pillows at Midtown's Morgan Hotel. “I said, ‘I’m going to try this,' and the first batch was so amazingly delicious I was hooked.”
“If you haven’t had a handmade marshmallow before, it’s so different from what you get at the store. It’s a whole different candy,” Greenberg continued.
Most Mitchmallow sales come from Greenberg's online store, which he fills with the marshmallows he cooks in bulk in kitchens at Long Island City's Entrepreneur Space, a city-sponsored business incubator. He also caters birthday parties, bar mitzvahs and show openings.
Greenberg hopes to hook a broader audience on his products — which range from $11.95 to $16.95 a dozen, depending on the flavor — by launching a mobile truck and pitching the treats to gourmet food and specialty candy stores, he said.
“I’m taking my time with it, because I want the packaging to reflect the product,” Greenberg said. “I’m still tweaking that, and trying to decide how I want to present it to the world.”
Since Mitchmallows was born, Greenberg has focused on turning everyday snacks into marshmallow form. So far he has come up with three-dozen quirky flavors, including tempura-mallows, which are made from frozen marshmallows that are rolled in a flour batter and then deep-fried.
During the Thanksgiving season, the company offers cranberry, turkey and gravy versions.
“It’s almost like Baskin-Robbins, but for marshmallows,” Greenberg said.
To create the beer-and-pretzel flavor, for instance, Greenberg adds Blue Moon beer to the marshmallow batter and then rolls the fluffy candy in pretzel dust.
For the tomato marshmallow, he adds tomato puree to the batter, then sprinkles on candied bacon and presses it onto a toasted crostini to make a savory s’more called the BLT, Greenberg said.
“They all work great for s’mores, hot chocolate or even coffee,” Greenberg said.
Some marshmallows come in layers of flavor, like the wine and cheese-mallow, which is a merlot-flavored marshmallow stacked onto a cheese-flavored treat.
But just like any experiment, there have been some failures, including the chicken soup-mallow and the onion ring-mallow, Greenberg said.
“They were terrible,” Greenberg said. “But I don’t know what works until I try it.”
Most flavors contain purees, juices or organic flavor concentrates, he said.
“One day I want to make an entire meal out of marshmallows,” Greenberg said. “I’d love to make a gazpacho soup-mallow for the appetizer.”