Who Really Invented S’mores and Why Are They So Popular?

S’mores are a quintessential campfire treat, beloved by many for their simple yet delightful combination of:

  • Graham crackers
  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate

Their popularity has transcended generations, making them a staple at outdoor gatherings and camping trips.

Despite their widespread enjoyment, the origin of s’mores is shrouded in mystery, and the significance of their ingredients adds to the intrigue of this classic dessert.

The First Official S’mores Recipe

First Official S'mores Recipe From 1927

The first official s’mores recipe was published in 1927 by the Girl Scouts of the USA. This recipe appeared in their guidebook, “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts,” and is credited to troop leader Loretta Scott Crew.

The inclusion of this recipe in a widely distributed guidebook helped to spread the popularity of s’mores across the country.

The original recipe is quite simple and has remained largely unchanged over the years.

It calls for marshmallows roasted over an open flame until golden brown and gooey, which are then sandwiched between two graham crackers with a piece of chocolate.

The heat from the marshmallow melts the chocolate slightly, creating a delightful, melty treat.

Why Are S’mores So Popular?

Why Smores are Popular

S’mores hold significant cultural symbolism in American outdoor and camping traditions.

They represent the simplicity and joy of spending time outdoors, gathered around a campfire with family and friends.

Making s’mores is a hands-on activity that brings people together, fostering a sense of community and shared experience.

The communal aspect is a key factor in their popularity. The nostalgia associated with s’mores also plays a crucial role.

For many, the act of roasting marshmallows and assembling s’mores harks back to carefree childhood days.

Sensory Appeal

The sensory appeal of s’mores is undeniable. The combination of textures and flavors creates a delightful eating experience.

The crunch of the graham crackers contrasts with the gooeyness of the melted marshmallow, while the chocolate adds a smooth, rich element.

This blend of crunchy, gooey, and melty components makes s’mores incredibly satisfying.

The process of making s’mores is as enjoyable as eating them.

Roasting marshmallows over an open flame, watching them turn golden brown, and then carefully assembling the s’mores adds an element of fun and anticipation.

Early History of S’mores Ingredients

Now let us address the first ingredients used to make this sweet.


Marshmallow Sweet

Marshmallows have a fascinating history that dates back to ancient civilizations.

The original marshmallow was derived from the sap of the Althaea officinalis plant, also known as the marshmallow plant.

The ancient Greeks and Romans utilized this plant not for confections but for its medicinal properties, using it to soothe sore throats and other ailments.

The evolution of marshmallows into the sweet treat we know today began in France.

French confectioners in the 19th century created a version of marshmallows using the juice of the marshmallow root, combined with egg whites and sugar.

The mixture was whipped into a fluffy consistency. Over time, the recipe evolved, and gelatin replaced the marshmallow root juice, leading to the modern marshmallow’s creation.

Graham Crackers

Making Graham Cracker

Graham crackers have a uniquely puritanical origin. They were invented by Reverend Sylvester Graham in the early 19th century as part of his dietary reform movement.

His crackers were made from whole wheat flour, bran, and germ, reflecting his commitment to simple, unprocessed ingredients.

While the original purpose of graham crackers has faded, they have remained a popular and versatile ingredient in American cuisine, especially as a base for s’mores.


Chocolate for Smores

Chocolate has held a special place in American culture for centuries, beloved for its rich flavor and versatility.

The integration of chocolate into various sweets has been heavily influenced by the marketing efforts of chocolate companies.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, these companies promoted the use of chocolate in everyday treats, helping to cement its place in American dessert culture.

This promotion undoubtedly contributed to the popularity of s’mores, with chocolate adding a luscious, melty component that complements the crunchy graham crackers and gooey marshmallows perfectly.

The Bottom Line

The journey of s’mores from their mysterious origins to their current status as a beloved treat worldwide is a fascinating cultural tale.

The combination of marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate has captured the hearts of many, offering a simple yet delightful treat that evokes nostalgia and fosters a sense of community.