Posts Tagged With: Sylvester Graham

222/365: National S’mores Day*

Bet you can’t eat just one: today’s food holiday is dedicated to all those who want some more. Some more toasted marshmallows, that is. With graham crackers and milk chocolate. August 10 is National S’mores Day!

It’s also National Banana Split Day. Since we’ve had a lot of ice cream themed food holidays, but very few marshmallow ones, this decision was a no-brainer. Plus, when we went camping last month, I said, “Too bad there isn’t a National S’mores Day. That would be perfect.” Ha. Little did I know! It’s like a genie came along and granted my wish (while ignoring my other for a billion dollars, the bastard).

This classic campfire treat dates back to the early 1920s, and is closely associated with camping because all three ingredients are easy to transport and don’t spoil. They are often associated with the Girl Scouts, who didn’t invent the treat, but did publish the first recipe in their 1927 handbook, Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts. I assume “tramping” had a different, less-derogatory connotation back then. The sweet confections were so popular, people were constantly asking for “some more”…and the name stuck, much like marshmallows to the roof of your mouth.

Speaking of, marshmallows date back some 4000 years, originating from the mallow plant in Egypt. Sap was extracted from the plant, sweetened with honey, and used as a medicinal substance to treat sore throats. Later it was whipped with egg whites, mixed with sugar, and coated with cornstarch to form the modern-day marshmallow.

Graham crackers were invented by Sylvester Graham, a reverend and proponent of American dietary reform, in 1829. The man, who was anti-meat, anti-tobacco, anti-alcohol, and anti-sex  (which all translates to anti-FUN), believed that a vegetarian diet would help curb alcoholism and sexual urges. He set out to create a high-fiber vegetarian alternative to a cookie, and used whole, unrefined wheat flour to make his namesake cracker. Graham was often ridiculed and was actually assaulted on the street more than once because of his radical views, but his invention lives on.

You can probably recite the history of chocolate in your sleep, as many times as I’ve written about it here.

This challenge would have been perfect a few weeks ago, when we went camping. We actually had s’mores that night, too. But alas, we were stuck at home, and had to improvise. We actually turned to the microwave to make s’mores. Turns out it’s simple! And while nothing beats a s’more cooked over a campfire, this was a pretty good substitute. All that’s missing was the crispy, blackened char on the outside of the marshmallow.

National S'mores Day

Categories: Desserts | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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