Jen Can Eat That!: Sweet Street Chewy Marshmallow

There are some similarities between Starbucks and the Cafe that is inside a Barnes & Noble store. Most (if not all) of the drinks are identical. The big difference is in the food and pastry options.

Starbucks has a gluten-free pastry that comes in a sealed package (to prevent cross contamination). It is called the La Boulange Marshmallow Dream Bar. Barnes & Noble has a gluten-free pastry that comes in a sealed package, too. It is called Sweet Street Chewy Marshmallow.

The two versions of what amounts to a “Rice Krispie bar” are slightly different from each other. Both are gluten-free. At a glance, the Sweet Street version has larger marshmallows than the La Boulange version.

Sweet Street Chewy Marshmallow

Most people, who don’t have to avoid gluten for health reasons, do not realize that Rice Krispies are not gluten free. Rice, all by itself is gluten-free. For whatever reason, Kelloggs puts malt flavor into its Rice Krispies.  Just like that, something that could have been a safe choice for a person who has celiac disease, an allergy to wheat, rye, or barley, or who has a gluten intolerance, becomes dangerous.

Somehow, both Sweet Street and La Boulange are able to make “marshmallow bars” with a cereal that resembles Rice Krispies and that doesn’t contain gluten.  There was a time when Kellogg’s did have a gluten-free version of Rice Krispies, but they decided to discontinue it due to “disappointing sales and manufacturing constraints”.

It is situations like that one – where a gluten-free version of something disappears from the market – that makes life more difficult for people with food allergies or celiac disease.  That’s why it is so awesome to find not one, but two, companies that are willing to make gluten-free marshmallow bars.  It’s not like people can buy a box of gluten-free Rice Krispies off the shelf and make the treats at home anymore.

As you can see from the photo, the Sweet Street Chewy Marshmallow bar comes sealed in a package.  This keeps it free from cross contamination with the other pastries at the Barnes & Noble cafe (that are not gluten-free).

Sweet Street Chewy Marshmallow ingredients

Here are the ingredients:
* Marshmallow (corn syrup, sugar, modified corn starch, gelatin)
* Gluten Free Crisped Rice (rice, brown sugar, salt, monoglycerides)
* Corn Syrup
* Salted Butter
* Sugar
* Browned Butter
* Sea Salt
* Maltodextrin – NOTE: maltodextrin is on the Safe Foods List at It does not contain gluten.
* Vanilla

The package says:
* Contains: Milk
* It has the Certified NSF Gluten-Free stamp on the back.
* It says Gluten Free on the front.

I love these little Chewy Marshmallow bars! They are the perfect texture and stickiness and would pass for “real” Rice Krispie treats. It’s nice to have a gluten-free pastry option at Barnes & Noble Cafe. I’m not sure I could tell the difference between the Sweet Street and the La Boulange versions in a blind taste test.  That’s ok, though, because both are very good.

2 comments to Jen Can Eat That!: Sweet Street Chewy Marshmallow

  • Ellie  says:

    These bars don’t contain gluten, but they contain ALOT of other junk, like 4 different forms of MSG (corn syrup, modified corn starch, gelatin and maltodextrin, and 6 different foods that are most likely sourced from GMO sugar and corn, meaning it contains glyphosate. Anything not certified organic contains numerous toxins; insecticides (more glyphosate), pesticides, herbicides, and high phosphorus fertilizer. Is there any REAL food in these bars? The butter? Nope! Unless it is from grass-fed, organic, free-range cows, it contains GMOs from the corn and soy feed, plus antibiotics and hormones!
    Skip anything that comes in a cellophane wrapper and eat an organic apple!

    • Jen  says:

      Thank you for your comment! I agree with you, an organic apple would be a healthier snack than a Sweet Street Chewy Marshmallow bar.

      However, some of your information is not correct.

      The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that MSG is the sodium salt of the common amino acid glutamic acid.

      The FDA also states that Corn syrup is a simple sugar that is derived from corn starch. Corn syrup is 100% glucose. Corn syrup does not contain MSG.

      A nutrition expert on WebMD named Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, RD, states: “Modified cornstarch that is a starch that is physically/chemically treated to change its properties and is mainly used as a thickening agent, stabilizer, or emulsifier in various food products (as a food additive and not for taste/nutrition). There are many different types of these starches around and they are considered safe. From a nutrition perspective, this ingredient is harmless and not an issue.” Modified corn starch does not contain MSG.

      A library answer person at Duke University states: “True gelatin is protein-based and rendered from the skin, cartilage, bone, etc. of animals.” Gelatin does not contain MSG.

      According to Wikipedia, is a polysaccharide that is used as a food additive. It is produced from starch by partial hydrolysis and is usually found as a white hydrscopic powder. A polysaccharide is a carbohydrate. Hydrolysis means “the chemical breakdown of a compound due to reaction with water.” Hydroscopic means “the ability of a chemical compound to absorb water.” Polysaccarides do not contain MSG.

      The Mayo Clinic states that MSG stands for monosodium glutamate. It does not contain gluten. (Monosodium means “containing one atom of sodium”. Glutamate is an amino acid.). The Mayo Clinic article notes that the FDA has classified MSG as an ingredient that is “generally recognized as safe.” The FDA requires food labels to list MSG if the product contains MSG.

      As you can see from the photo in the blog, the ingredients do not list MSG. That means there is no MSG in it.

      That being said (and as the Mayo Clinic points out) most people have no reaction at all to MSG. “However, researchers have found no definitive evidence of a link between MSG and these symptoms. Researchers acknowledge, though , that a small percentage of people may have short-term reactions to MSG. Symptoms are usually mild and don’t require treatment.”

      I, personally, react to MSG. This does not surprise me, because I have TONS of food allergies. I did not have an MSG-reaction when eating the Sweet Street Chewy Marshmallow bar.

      Hopefully, now that I’ve explained the chemistry behind the ingredients, you will be less fearful of them.

      Overall, I believe individual people should be able to make their own choices about food (based on their own health issues, food allergies, and in some cases religious or ethical beliefs). In order to do that, people need to be educated enough to understand what the words on the food label mean. There are too many websites out there spreading misinformation about ingredients.

      Clearly, Ellie, you have issues with what is in the Sweet Street Chewy Marshmallow bar. And that’s fine. As I said, people should make their own decisions about what they are going to eat.

      But, it’s inappropriate to spread misinformation about what the food label actually means. It feels like you left your comment in an effort to frighten people into making the food choices that YOU would make – instead of letting them make their own decisions. This troubles me.

      That being said, I agree that an organic apple would be a healthier snack than a Sweet Street Chewy Marshmallow bar.

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