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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Origin of S’mores

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S’more origins

S’mores are a summer classic, a staple, a sweet treat enjoyed around campfires enjoyed during warm summer nights. Just like Cindy Lou wondered of the Grinch “Where did he come from?” I had to know.

The Grinch is always welcome on our TVs just like a roasted marshmallow always sounds like a good idea to me. Turns out marshmallows have been around for a looong time. The first discovery of marshmallows was by the Ancient Greeks and Romans from a plant called Althaea officinalis. Rather than stuffed between two crackers, they used their findings to cure ailments from inflammation to constipation.

The French were the first to make a marshmallow as a treat. Combining the root juice from the plant with eggs and sugar. The paste was then made into a lozenge called pâté de guimauve which translates to marshmallow creme. The lozenges were used both as a sweet and for soothing sore throats.  That went on for a time until the 19th century. See, it was a lot of work to get the root juice, which made these tasty things expensive. Gelatin replaced the marshmallow root to make marshmallows more affordable while keeping about the same taste.

Before the s’mores of present day, there were some variations. The Victorian-era funnel cakes were often prepared for funerals, and sometimes included chocolate and marshmallows. During the 1890s the northeast states had a marshmallow roasting fad, newspapers back then called marshmallow roasting events. Following that in 1913 the cookie version of s’mores- Mallomars, hit stores. A few years later Moonpies made their debut, which are like a family member to a s’more. 

Despite how similar all of this was to modern day s’mores, the first ones we know of came around in 1927. A Girl Scouts guidebook titled “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts contained the first recipe for s’mores. The original recipe was called Some More and is credited to troop leader Loretta Scott Crew. The shortened name of s‘ more came along later, although the exact time of the shortening is unknown. Girl Scout books continued to refer to these delectable treats as Some More at least until 1971.

Whatever the case is on the name shortening, the result is a delicious gooey snack, best enjoyed around a campfire with loved ones. Maybe you can share your new found knowledge around the next campfire the next time you find yourself with a s’more in hand. 

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Madison VanRavensway
Don't let her quiet nature fool you. Madison is a force to be reckoned with in the outdoors, or creating amazing recipes from scratch.
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