Always Aftfer Me Marbits

Once while wondering aimlessly in Whole Foods, I grabbed a sample "gourmet marshmallow." I was not expecting anything too different from the Campfire marshmallows we used toast as kids. I was wrong. They were great. They were much less sweet and closer in consistency to nougat than to what I had expected. Since then, I have learned that some people (but no one I know) make marshmallows at home. See here if you want to try.

In a completely different universe are those tiny colored rocks found in Lucky Charms. Over the years, I have referred to them as marshmallows or marshmallow bits. It turns out that is not correct. Instead, those "charms" are "marbits," which are described by Customs and Border Protection as dried marshmallow confections. Here is the full description from HQ H014873 (Jun. 5, 2007):

The samples are dry, brittle, multi-colored pieces, approximately ½-inch wide and ¼-inch thick, in the form of hearts, half-moons, hats, and other objects. The ingredients breakdown provided with your November letter states the pieces are composed of approximately 51 percent sugar, 19 percent water, 11 percent corn syrup, 10 percent dextrose, 7 percent corn starch, 2 percent gelatin, and less than one percent flavoring. The laboratory analysis found the sample contained 66.2 percent sucrose and 14.8 percent glucose on a dry weight basis.

Sounds appetizing, doesn't it? Funny thing is that in the context of a bowl of Lucky Charms, they rock.

Well, CBP has recently decided that its original classification of these marbits as food preparations not elsewhere specified or included was wrong. On August 8, 2008, CBP issued a notice (go to page 17) revoking several earlier marbit rulings and proposing to classify the products in HTSUS item 1704.90.35 as other confections, which is where CBP classifies marshmallows.

I just thought you'd want to know.


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