S’more and s’more: Celebrate this sweet, summertime treat by having some more
The ingredient list begins with “8 sticks,” and we’re not talking sticks of butter, but actual sticks off of a tree.
Eight sticks. It’s a good start.
Then 16 graham crackers, 8 bars plain chocolate (any of the good plain brands broken in two) and 16 marshmallows.
You know where this is going: “Toast two marshmallows over the coals to a crisp gooey state and then put them inside a chocolate and graham cracker sandwich.”
The recipe ends by advising, “Though it tastes like ‘some more’ one is really enough.”
Says you, “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts,” published in 1927. Has anyone anywhere ever eaten just one s’more?
They’re too delicious and the very essence of summer evenings, campfires and all that good, fresh air really whetting the ol’ appetite.
Today is National S’mores Day, so what better time to honor this simplest and most delicious of summer confections.
And yes, because we can’t leave well enough alone, there are all kinds of alternate s’mores out there, s’mores with cookies instead of graham crackers, Brie instead of marshmallows, Nutella instead of a Hershey’s bar. S’mores have been fancified and put on hip menus for $7.
Which is fine, creativity-wise, and they really are irresistible, but do s’mores lose something when they leave the woods?
“In my opinion, s’mores are one of those things that should only be encountered in their native habitat,” said Wayne Smith, an assistant technical professor in Western Colorado Community College’s culinary arts program. “So, to me the perfect s’more can only be found on a camping trip.”
Martin Marez, chef at Spoons Bistro and Bakery, echoed that feeling: “You need a campfire. If you don’t have a campfire, forget it, it’s not happening.”
In fact, it’s over a campfire that s’mores were born. That 1927 Girl Scout recipe, called “Some More,” is generally considered to be the first appearance of s’mores in our national recipe box, and you know the Girl Scouts were making those things over campfires.
In fact, thanks to the campfire you can formulate a personality test using marshmallows: golden brown or burned? Are you a person who patiently stands with marshmallows extended toward the fire but not in it, bouncing at the edges of the heat so that the fluffy white surface gently toasts to a golden brown?
Or do you shove the marshmallow directly into the flames, letting it ignite and then trying to blow it out while it glows blue-orange like a dying star?
Even marshmallows covered in a papery layer of char are edible on a s’more. Plus, a lot of things are forgivable with chocolate (a Hershey’s bar, of course, because anything else wouldn’t be quite right) and a campfire. S’mores belong in the woods.
“The problem with making them at home,” Smith said, “is that their inherent flaws begin to show: They are way too sweet, too messy and junk food-y enough to bring feelings of guilt and remorse. Plus, if they are made at home they were probably cooked in the microwave.
“All of those sins can be forgiven in the woods. Nobody I want to camp with would dream of putting lavender, white chocolate or truffles on their s’mores. And they certainly wouldn’t parade them on the internet.”
No, Smith advised, If you’re making them correctly “your fingers will be so sticky you will ruin your phone when you pick it up to take a s’more selfie. Not to mention the s’more will be too cold to enjoy within seconds of assembly.”
S’mores, then, are summer: heavy limbs from hours of swimming in the lake, the crumple of newspaper shoved beneath kindling in the fire pit, the hiss of a match, sparks dancing into a sky turning indigo, sticks whittled to a point with two marshmallows poked onto the end, the scent of burning sugar and sunscreen and pine, the first crispy bite, the sweetness, the bliss.
Yum. Let’s have s’more.