Tiny Facts: Where Did the S’more Come From?

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Ah, the s’more — it’s a campfire treat that’s as essential to summer as sunscreen and flip-flops. The combination of charred marshmallow, crunchy graham crackers, and melted chocolate seems like a no-brainer, but where did this little piece of sandwich heaven come from?

Like all great foods, the origin story of the s’more is disputed. The first published recipe appeared in 1927 in a Girl Scouts handbook called Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts. (It also let readers know how to forage and build 12 different kinds of campfires, so it was really a one-stop shop of a book.)

It’s worth noting, however, that Nabisco started producing the Mallomar, a marshmallow plopped on a graham cracker cookie and covered in chocolate, in New Jersey in 1913. And the MoonPie, graham cracker cookies sandwiching a marshmallow and dipped in chocolate, was sold in Chattanooga, Tennessee, about four years later. Both treats have about a decade on the Girl Scouts and their Tramping and Trailing tome.

And then there’s talk that the s’more dates back even further, to the Victorian era, when ladies kind were filling cakes and cookies with gooey sweets like jam and chocolate. Who could say if a s’more wasn’t close behind the lemon curd?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

The flavor combination is so delicious, and anyone could have come up with it — graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate just make sense — but who had the sense to melt it? Our money is still on a bunch of 10-year-olds experimenting with a campfire. Kids just have a knack for food that is inherently messy.

As for where the word comes from, s’more is likely shorthand for that original 1927 recipe for “Some More.”

Toast two marshmallows over the coals to a crisp gooey state and then put them inside a graham cracker and chocolate bar sandwich. The heat of the marshmallow between the halves of chocolate bar will melt the chocolate a bit. Though it tastes like “some more” one is really enough.

We may have agree to disagree on that last part.

What’s your favorite s’mores combination?