S’mores stuff you didn’t need (or want) to know
by Alexander Quebec
The concept of sandwhiching together chocolate and melted marshmellow between two graham crackers has been around for quite some time, so much in fact that we have S’more flavored items of all kinds, such as candy bars, frappachinos and stouts (check this one out from San Leandro based High Water Brewery)
The origin of s’mores is unclear; no origin stories about where they came from or how they came to be are known, although they appear in handbooks made by the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America as early as 1927. Since then, they have become a mainstay at BBQs and campfires all across the country.
While S’mores are key for an epic summer (aside from BBQ, Beer and sun burn), there are a few things about them that may surprise you. Check them out below and see if you knew about any of these.
1. Graham Crackers were made to eliminate sexual tendencies
Around the 1800s, a preacher named Sylvester Graham gained popularity within the country especially after a cholera epidemic broke out in 1850, and it appeared that his followers were the only ones unaffected by it.
An ardent vegan, Graham denounced meat, milk, spices, and alcohol; as he believed those things caused people to be sexually impure. Instead, he promoted a vegan diet full of whole grains to quell any sort of urges his followers may have.
Interestingly enough it was his followers, not Graham, who developed the graham cracker. Alongside graham flour and graham bread, the crackers were developed as a way to help his followers adhere to his strict and rigid health regimen. However, presently that is all that we know him for although he did manage to influence another food icon of the breakfast cereal variety.
2. Marshmallows are neither vegan nor approved by God.
Marshmallows are on the record as far back as 2000 BCE, as the Pharaohs and nobility of Egypt were consuming the juice of the root of the Marshmallow plant both as an exclusive sweet treat and as a form of medicine.
Flash forward to 19th century France, while the country had just finished all those guillotine executions and their leader at the time was hosting his world tour all over Europe, French confectioners were working on a way to make the delicious yet labor intensive process of making marshmallow treats less intensive. Someone then had the idea of using gelatin to make the light and fluffy treats we know today, making them available to the masses. Unfortunately, that left the confectioners with just one teensy problem.
Gelatin is certainly NOT vegan, as some of the ingredients are derived from collagen in animal bones and ,depending on the animal the collagen was sourced from, might not be allowed for Jews and Muslims.
Well, it’s a great thing we live in 2017, where there are plenty of options for vegans and others with dietary restrictions to have marshmallows, and by extension, s’mores.
3. We might be running out of chocolate soon.
The demand for chocolate has been increasing, especially in places like China and India, who once saw chocolate as a once in awhile treat. Ghana, one of the nations responsible for the world’s production of cacao, has seen its output decrease since 2015, according to the Wall Street Journal. Other factors include the environment and the fact that very little of the younger generations are taking up farming as a career anymore, which is leading to the decreased output and rising prices of cacao.
Many multinational companies such as Hershey’s, Mars, and Mondelez (I see you with that blank face, they make Oreos) are stepping in to combat this change by investing over one billion to turn the tide around. Time will tell how successful these efforts are, but this is just one of many issues surrounding the production of chocolate, in addition to climate change and child labor
So, the next time you’re sitting around the campfire enjoying a summer treat, Impress (or depress) your friends with these facts. So, enjoy!