Should cranberry sauce be canned or homemade? Should turkey be dry-rubbed or wet-brined? These are simply a couple of the Thanksgiving arguments we’ve tookon here at Bon Appétit. And this year, we’re breaking down another: Should sweet potato casserole have marshmallows or nuts on leading?
And how did marshmallows land on the Thanksgiving table to start with? In the 19th century, glazed and candied sweet potatoes made their launching as vacation sides. Then in 1917, dish designer Janet McKenzie Hill released the veryfirst dish for sweet potato casserole—which, yes, included marshmallows on top. The dish was really commissioned by a sweet business as a plan to sell marshmallows. The more you understand!
Marketing tactic aside, I can’t picture Thanksgiving without the marshmallow-topped casserole. My grandmother utilized to make the casserole with canned yams, blitzed in the mixer and topped with a puffy coat of marshmallows. As a kid with an hostility to veggies, I didn’t mind that this meal teetered towards dessert area. Even now that I’m ready to consume green beans, the sweet and sentimental casserole supplies a welcome foil to turkey, gravy, and mac and cheese.
Many argue that marshmallows have no location on the Thanksgiving table. Plenty of cooks, especially in the American South, top the casserole with warm pecans and buttery brown sugar streusel, as in Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock’s sweet potato casserole dish from The Gift of Southern Cooking. The craggy nuts include pops of crunch to the spoonable casserole.
The Gift of Southern Cooking: Recipes and Revelations from Two Great American Cooks
Though I’m not prepared to offer up the marshmallows—I simply can’t—I will confess that the sweet potato casserole I grew up with didnothave textural contrast. Silky sweet potatoes and gooey marshmallows are asking for a crisp part. The basic service would be topping the casserole with both marshmallows and pecans, which lots of individuals do. The issue is I’m allergic to tree nuts, as are almost 4 million Americans. So I set out to discover a nut-free method to bring a crispy aspect to my preferred Thanksgiving side.
As it turned out, the fast repair was currently in my cereal cabinet. Inspired by Milk Bar creator and cookbook author Christina Tosi, who utilizes cornflakes in all sorts of baking dishes, I constantly keep a box around. With their earthy-sweet taste and chemically crafted crispiness, cornflakes include a pop of textural contrast to snickerdoodles and corny brown butter cake. So why not usage them as a casserole topping?