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S'more Story

Explore classic to creative s'mores on National S'mores Day

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ug. 10 marks #NationalSmoresDay and is the perfect excuse, if you need one, to consume the classic gooey treats. Though s’mores may be the go-to campout treat, they are just as easy to make at home, and without the smoky fire. Before delving into some recipes from the classic to the creative, here’s a little history to sweeten the story.

Celebrate National S’mores Day Aug. 10. - DAMIAN FAGAN
  • Damian Fagan
  • Celebrate National S’mores Day Aug. 10.

No one really knows when s'mores hit the campout scene, but credit goes to Girl Scout troop leader Loretta Scott Crew who made "some mores" for her troop. The first-recorded recipe that appeared in the 1927 publication, "Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts" for "Some Mores" included: 8 sticks, 16 graham crackers, 8 pieces of chocolate, and 16 marshmallows; the sticks were for roasting.

"The word's origin is, quite clearly, 'some more,'" said Luke Henke, cataloguer of cultural assets for the Girl Scouts of the USA. "All Girl Scout publications featuring s'more recipes referred to the sticky treat as a 'some more' until 1971, the year the now ubiquitous contraction came into being."

Ah, but wait, there's more.

"The Ancient Egyptians harvested sap from the root of the marsh mallow plant (Althaea officinalis) and mixed it with honey to eat," said Seth Pearson, director of sales for Doumak, Inc., makers of Campfire Marshmallows. "In 1948, our founder, Alex Doumak, patented the marshmallow extrusion process, revolutionizing marshmallow production," added Pearson. Based in Chicago, the highly automated process features ingredients sourced from the U.S. The company tops $250 million in annual sales of just marshmallows.

DAMIAN FAGAN
  • Damian Fagan

S'mores have also been associated with Hersey's milk chocolate throughout time. Broken squares of chocolate fit neatly between two halves of graham crackers like they were made for each other. But, the creator of the graham cracker, Presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham (1794-1851), is probably turning over in his grave every time a s'more is made. Why, you might ask?

Back in the 1830s, Graham preached through the temperance movement that a strict vegetarian diet with limited dairy and bland-tasting bread made with coarsely ground whole wheat flour, called graham flour, would suppress "unhealthy" sexual urges, i.e., "self-abuse" which he believed led to blindness and insanity. Graham's original unsweetened crackers, made of graham flour, bran, and wheat germ, nowadays are produced with sugar, honey, and/or cinnamon to sweeten them.

In "S'mores: Gourmet Treats for Every Occasion" by Lisa Adams, she writes, "Though we all associate s'mores with campfires, you can make the recipes in this book without exposing even a fingernail to the wilderness." Most s'more recipes rely on an open flame, but at home, that could be a charcoal barbeque grill, stove top, oven, or even an electric flameless home s'more maker (yes, they really exist!). Adams is also an advocate for s'more buffets or s'more charcuteries, as I see them. These spreads consist of a variety of ingredients including but not limited to: chocolate chunks, marshmallows, graham crackers, cookies, brownies, Nutella, fruit, peanut butter or other toppings. The sky's the limit. The same goes for artisan marshmallows, which may be infused with vanilla, maple or caramel flavorings, as well as those infused with coconut rum or bourbon.

Adams advocates for using fruit as a s'more layer, maybe in the form of jam, berries, banana slices, melon, pineapple or sliced apples to sandwich everything together.

At home, roasting marshmallows in the oven for 1-3 minutes gives them a nice golden tan; microwaving also works but just makes them soft. There are also vegan marshmallows (Dandies) and square-shaped ones (Kraft Jet-Puffed StackerMallows) that work well with graham crackers.

For those really stuck in a s'more rut, check out Pinterest for some recipe ideas. And for "Ghostbusters" fans, the Stay Puft Marshmallow bags in the newest release, "Ghostbusters: Afterlife," where the Mini-Pufts emerge, were created under the Ghostbusters' license by Campfire Marshmallows. S'more than you ever wanted to know about these treats!

Simple Mint S’mores
• 1-3 Andes mint squares
• ½ graham cracker
• 1 roasted marshmallow
1 crispy mint cookie (Thin Mint, Mint Oreo or Mint Brussels)

Unwrap mints and place them on a graham cracker for melting. Roast and add marshmallow to graham cracker, then top with a mint cookie. Enjoy!

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