The Sweet Life

Sometimes you just need a “schmore.” The vanilla marshmallow on top of a graham cracker and covered in semi-sweet dark chocolate is a crunchy, decadent treat. It’s one of Schwartz Candies famous chocolate-covered marshmallow concoctions.

The family-owned business has been selling sweets to New Yorkers for more than 75 years. Al Schwartz opened the original store in 1939, when it was both a restaurant and candy store. The business transitioned to making candy exclusively and in 1979, Schwartz’s daughter Rhoda opened up a satellite location with her husband Ira that began serving Long Islanders. Since Schwartz’s death in 1981, it is the business’s sole location.

Through the generations and three different Long Island locations, one thing remains the same: their candy recopies. Their famous chocolate-covered marshmallows even earned them a spot on the Food Network show “Unwrapped.”

Rhoda’s son, Stan Boskoff, who has been in his family’s business for over 14 years, shared some secrets behind his family’s famous chocolate covered marshmallows with Pulse Insider.

Pulse Insider: What is the story behind how your family began selling chocolate-covered marshmallows?
Stan Boskoff:
My grandfather, Al Schwartz, handed down the recipe to my father, and my father to me. The marshmallows are unique and delicious and became the best seller in the shop.

PI: What does the process of making the marshmallows entail today?
We make marshmallows now the same way we have for 75 years. We boil sugar and water to make a syrup. When that syrup is complete, we ladle it out into smaller mixing kettles and the marshmallow gets whipped up and aerated and poured into long trays. On the following day we cut the slabs of marshmallow into squares, and cover them in chocolate on our enrobing machine. For most of the time in my grandfather’s store, the marshmallows were dipped by hand.

PI: You have so many flavors of chocolate covered marshmallow, including unique ones like banana and pistachio. When did the store start selling different flavored marshmallows? How did the idea come about?
In my experience we have always sold flavored marshmallows. Though I don’t know when we started adding flavors to our repertoire, I imagine that the thought process then was the same as today: How can we make something interesting and new? That is how we came up with the ”Crunchmallow” [vanilla marshmallow on top of English toffee covered in dark chocolate] and “Schmore,” [vanilla marshmallow on top of graham cracker and covered in semi-sweet dark chocolate] which have been around less than 15 years.

PI: What is the best-selling marshmallow in your store?
Our best seller is the caramel bottom marshmallow.

PI: What is your personal favorite flavor?
My favorite changes. Sometimes you just need a “schmore” for its crunch. Sometimes you want a caramel bottom, because it’s like a meal in three bites.

PI: What do you recommend customers looking for a Valentine’s Day gift in your store?
We have lots of heart-shaped boxes filled with homemade confections, marshmallows among them. I recommend marshmallows first, because we make them better than anyone else. But we have a lot of goodies, from butter crunch to raspberry jellies to creamy mints. It all depends on what you like best.

PI: The store also offers a unique chocolate tasting experience in the spring. Can you explain in some detail what customers will experience if they sign up for a tasting?
At chocolate tastings we discuss how chocolate is made, how it is tempered, how we use chocolate in our store. And we eat lots of chocolate!

esme mazzeo

Esme Mazzeo is a freelance writer and T.V. junkie who enjoys writing arts, culture, and lifestyle pieces. Follow her on Twitter @EsmeMazzeo