My grandchildren reminded me that Aug. 10 is National S’mores Day. I couldn’t disappoint them, so we decided to have an August S’mores weekend.
I prepared by looking up the history of this uniquely American treat. After all, it could be a “Jeopardy” question someday. The name for s’mores originated when people asked for “some more” of any sweet dessert. History says this particular triple delight of graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows was invented by the Girl Scouts in the early 1900s. It was a perfect treat for roasting over campfires. Since the marshmallows get gooey and eating gets messy, s’mores are especially suited to outdoor dining.
The first written recipe appeared in the 1927 Girl Scouts cookbook. Like many origin stories, there is debate over the “truthiness” of the story. But no one can quibble over the level of yumminess: On a scale of 1 to 10, s’mores are an 11 for any age.
Think of having a “s’mores bar.” Use different flavors of chocolate, slip in some thin banana and strawberry slices. Or add bananas and peanut butter. And for a savory treat, add savory crackers, thinly sliced grape tomatoes, fresh basil and small mozarella balls.
Since our culture now craves instant gratification any place at any time, there are now ways to makes’mores without a campfire. You can use a toaster oven, stove top or microwave. The magic ingredient is those gooey well-toasted marshmallows. S’mores have morphed their way onto elegant restaurant menus with simple ingredients that transform into creative desserts, drinks and delicious memories.
Tips & Tricks
• Look for square marshmallows made just for s’mores.
• Store marshmallows in the freezer, cut with scissors dipped in hot water. If they become hard, place in a plastic baggie with a large slice of fresh bread for a few days.
• Don’t be afraid to try assorted chocolate squares, even those filled with caramel.
Ilene Spector is a local freelance writer.