Ah, summer! Time to be in the backyard, picnicing al fresco style, drinking fizzy refreshing drinks and grilling or cooking over an open fire! For many, this means breaking out the ingredients for one of America’s favorite campfire snacks – the S’more.
We all know the s’more is a sandwich made up of a campfire roasted marshmallow (degree of char up to the individual) nestled with a piece of chocolate between two graham crackers.
First references to “Some Mores” would make us thank the Girl Scouts of America for the invention of the snack. The first recorded recipes appears in the 1927 edition of Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts, although reports from the Girl Scouts of American describe them as early as 1925.
However, the Moon Pie snack may point to an earlier origin from Kentucky. Moon Pies have been made at the Chattanooga Bakery since 1917. They’re a confection that consists of two graham cracker cookies filled with marshmallow and dipped in chocolate. Sounds a lot like a s’more. Moon Pies are closely associated with southern cuisine and being washed down by an RC Cola, which some refer to as a “working man’s lunch.” Earl Mitchell, Jr., said his father came up with the confection after asking a Kentucky coal miner what snack he would prefer eating. The miner requested something with graham cracker and marshmallow, which had been dipped in chocolate.
The Graham Cracker has been around quite a while and is an American invention. Presbyterian Minister Sylvester Graham invented them in 1829 in Bound Brook, New Jersey, as part of a health food regime to suppress unhealthy carnal urges, the source of many maladies, he thought. It was made from graham flour, a combination of finely ground, unbleached wheat flour with the wheat bran and germ coarsely ground and added back in. They were unsweetened or lightly sweetened, thus their view as a ‘temperance food.’ The Reverend said that an unhealthy sexual appetite could be curbed by eating bland foods like his graham cracker. He also frequently lectured that ‘self abuse’ was inspired by children eating crackers and sweet treats. Another whackadoodle who thought sexual appetite could be curbed by mild foods was John Harvey Kellogg, who was the inventor of corn flakes cereal in 1878. He also stressed keeping the colon clean with regular yogurt enemas.
I wonder what Graham and Kellogg would say of the s’more!
Nowadays there are so many variations possible of the s’more. Graham Crackers come in flavors like cinnamon, chocolate, honey, gingersnap, and marshmallows come in a variety of flavors too from coconut to key lime. Saveur magazine this month has a recipe for smoked almond graham s’mores with bourbon marshmallow filling. Although the varieties could be endless, there’s nothing better than a classic roasted marshmallow s’more.