Does your mouth water at the thought of biting into a chocolate-and-marshmallow-filled graham cracker? Or would you rather sleep on the cold-hard ground than chew through another oversweet glob that just falls apart all over your hands? Whatever camp you’re in, you’re not alone. A beloved American pastime, s’mores can bring up different emotions in everyone.
This article explores this gooey phenomenon, including the history of s’mores, why people love them, why people hate them, and what you can eat instead.
Let’s dig in.
What Are S’mores?
S’mores have been around since the dawn of time. Okay, not really–but their origins go way back. And somehow, those three simple ingredients–graham cracker, marshmallow, and chocolate–are timeless. So much so that the original recipe has gone unchanged since the 1920s, when the first S’mores were made.
Created by the Girl Scouts, “S’mores” were actually called “Some Mores” until the 1970s. The recipe, which calls for graham crackers, a chocolate bar, and a marshmallow toasted to “a crispy, gooey state.”
The recipe came out in the 1927 Girl Scout guidebook, Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts. The organization created the book to advise on hiking and being the best Girl Scout ever, but the “Some More” recipe shined and has lived on until the present day.
Now S’mores are a summertime favorite. Whether you’re at a backyard cookout or are camping under the stars, someone has probably thought to bring those three essential ingredients. But why are they so divisive?
Let’s evaluate the reasons people love (and hate) S’mores.
Why Do People Love S’mores?
Well, what’s not to love?! The graham cracker is delightfully crisp, light, and surprisingly tasty (if you haven’t had graham crackers in a while, pick some up at your next shop – you’ll remember why you wolfed them down as a kid).
The chocolate is, well, chocolate (insert mouth-watering emoji here) and the marshmallow is sweet, gooey, and you can prepare it any way you like it. Want your marshmallow burnt to a crisp? You got it. Want it just lightly toasted? No problem! You don’t even have to toast it at all.
Maybe you’re not a fan of the traditional Hershey’s chocolate (which is a controversial topic in itself). If this is the case–no problem. Pair it with some Ghirardelli or Godiva; there are no rules in this game.
S’mores are as customizable as a brand new iPhone. You can have them any way you want.
Pro Tip: Make s’more roasting easier with these 7 Best S’mores Sticks for Roasting Marshmallows.
Why Do People Hate S’mores?
Even with all the choices of chocolate, marshmallow, and graham crackers, there are still some people who don’t like s’mores no matter how they’re made. The most common sentiment? They’re sickeningly sweet.
Sure, they taste like summer nostalgia complete with bug spray and burning eyes as you rotate around the campfire. But if we’re being honest, did you eat each subsequent s’more with the same gusto you had when they were a beautiful, new treat? Back when your palate was so pure, even a drop of sugar tasted heavenly?
If you’re like most of us, your answer is probably no. Because the truth is, s’mores get old. The marshmallows taste like sweet air, filling you up more than you wanted. The graham crackers are dry, and the chocolate just adds sweetness to the already-too-sweet gooey sandwich.
Chances are, you’ve eaten a s’more even when you didn’t really want to. If there’s any universal human truth, this is it–right?
So, you can understand why s’mores are so divisive. The nostalgia from our childhoods tells us we have to. It tells us that the s’mores will taste amazing; that the evening won’t be complete without them. But after one sticky bite, we know it’s all lies.
So what can we do to make s’mores as delicious as they possibly can be? Let’s talk about that.
Tips for Making the Tastiest S’mores
First, I want you to go back in time. Close your eyes and think about your first s’more. How did the marshmallow taste? Was it sweet and hot with a crispy-burnt coating? The chocolate just beginning to melt; acting as glue for the rest of the sandwich?
Maybe your marshmallow was a nice golden brown because you didn’t like the bitterness of burnt things. Maybe you delicately hovered it above the flames, keeping it from catching on fire. Hot enough to melt the chocolate and carefully crafted like a work of art. You then bit into it slowly; so as not to break the graham cracker into multiple crumbly pieces.
Remember your first s’more, and then recreate that one. Because, really, it will never get better than that.
You could also mix up the ingredients. Try flavored marshmallows, add a peanut butter cup, use fancy chocolate, or use Oreos instead of graham crackers. You could also enjoy a fudge-striped cookie to sandwich your mallow instead of the crackers and chocolate. The world is your oyster…or s’more!
Pro Tip: Who doesn’t love sitting by a campfire on a summers night?! What’s not to love though is the campfire smell that can linger for weeks, so we found 5 Simple Ways for How to Get Campfire Smell Out of Clothes.
S’mores Alternatives for the Naysayers Around Your Campfire
But what if nostalgia alone isn’t enough? If you can’t bring yourself to sink your teeth into another marshmallow and chocolate-filled graham cracker again, no worries–there are plenty of alternatives.
Let’s start with a personal favorite: Popcorn s’mores! Start by popping some popcorn kernels over the fire. Then, melt your chocolate alongside it (add a little shortening to thin, if needed). Next, add your mini marshmallows and crushed graham crackers to your popcorn and drizzle the melted chocolate all over your mix. Let it cool, and enjoy!
Grilled Banana Boats
The next s’mores alternative adds a healthy (yet delicious) twist to the original recipe: Grilled Banana Boats. You’ll need a ripe banana, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, and Golden Grahams cereal.
Start by cutting your banana lengthwise (through the skin). Then stuff the chocolate chips, marshmallows, and Golden Grahams into the banana. Next, wrap it all in tin foil and place it on a hotbed of coals for 8-10 mins. Yum.
The next one is great because you can literally add anything to them: Campfire cones! These are fun for the kids and easy to customize to please everyone’s taste buds. Simply take a sugar cone and stuff it full of your favorite goodies.
Maybe you’ll go traditional with mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, and crushed graham crackers. Perhaps you want some strawberries and chocolate instead. Whatever you choose, wrap it in tin foil and stick it in the fire; It’ll come out gooey and melted to perfection.
Love Them or Hate Them, S’mores Are Here to Stay
S’mores are loved and hated by many, and they can trigger deep-seated emotions from past camping trips. But like it or not, s’mores aren’t going anywhere. Even if your love for them began to wear off a long time ago, your descendants will probably eat them for decades to come.
Lucky for the haters, there are plenty of s’mores alternatives that the kids will love, too. After all, the important part isn’t the actual s’more, but the memories we make around the campfire with our loved ones.
So tell us, how do you feel about s’mores? Let us know in the comments below!
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