After Adding This One Ingredient to My S’mores, I’ll Never Make Them Any Other Way

published May 20, 2023
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A hand holds two s'mores.
Credit: Photo: Jason Rampe; Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

Good cooking is about a lot of things: creativity, practice, intuition, patience. But few things are as important as balance. Balancing fat with acid, salty with sweet, and soft with crunchy — the list goes on. 

I was reminded of this philosophy recently, when I was enjoying the veritable campfire s’more with friends. As a child (and former Girl Scout), there was nothing not to love about this campfire treat, but now with a more adult palette, I took a bite and was hit with sweetness and … not much else.

3 Amazing Upgrades

  1. Use dark chocolate. For the easiest upgrade, I swap out milk chocolate for quality dark chocolate. 
  2. Sprinkle in some salt. Balance out the bitterness of the dark chocolate and the sweetness of the marshmallow with a little sea salt. 
  3. Add a charred strawberry. Lob the top off a medium-sized strawberry, and stick it on the end of a roasting skewer. Hold it close to the flame and let it char a bit, then pull it back and let it bask in some indirect heat.

Seriously, don’t skip the strawberry. It gets perfectly soft and jammy as it chars, which makes it even more naturally sweet. Atop a pillowy marshmallow and melted chocolate (with some sea salt!), the roasted strawberry provided the needed balance in a s’more I didn’t even realize I was missing. Its tart, fruity flavor contrasted perfectly with everything else, and I’m sorry to say I won’t be going back to berry-less s’mores anytime soon.