Light up a Campfire & Learn the History of Delicious S’mores
When you think of summertime fun, chances are you’ll eventually start daydreaming about a warm campfire and making s’mores. All you need are marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate bars for this sweet summer treat. August 10th celebrates National S’mores Day each year and in honor of the day, let’s learn a bit about the history of this delicious dessert by starting with marshmallows.
The first marshmallows were actually used for medicinal purposes, often as a laxative. They came from the plant Althaea officinalis and date back as early as ancient Greece and Rome. When the French got ahold of marshmallows, they discovered they could be combined with eggs and sugar and it tasted very good. It was also a way to soothe a sore throat. Later on, gelatin replaced juice from the plant as an easier and more cost-effective way to make marshmallows.
Graham crackers were also around in the early 19th century but were first invented to curb sex drive by a Presbyterian minister named Sylvester Graham. He named the bland cracker after himself and marketed it as a way to reduce sexual cravings. Of course, chocolate has been around for a long time as well, with chocolate bars dating back to the 19th century. Chocolate, made from the cacao plant, was around way before that too.
While some types of desserts including Mallomars and Moonpies came in the early 1900s, it wasn’t until 1927 that the world got an official recipe for s’mores. It appeared as “Some More” in the 1927 Girl Scout guidebook, Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts. The book shared many tips on how to be a good Girl Scout and included the recipe, credited to a troop leader named Loretta Scott Crew.
The book shared that you should toast marshmallows to a “crispy, gooey state,” put the marshmallow on top of the chocolate, and in between two graham crackers. No one is really sure when “Some More” became “S’more,” but the name stuck and it became an iconic campfire delicacy. These days s’more is also a flavor for items such as Poptarts, donuts, cake, ice cream, and more. The Girl Scouts have even created a cookie Girl Scout S’mores® based on the treat. Tell us, do you love or hate s’mores? Do you ever swap out any of the ingredients? I love to make s’mores with Reeses instead of a plain chocolate bar!