Hello, and welcome back to What’s Cooking?, the open thread where you get to share your brilliant thoughts, advice, recipes, and opinions on all things food-related. Today I wish to talk about a wonderful summertime treat: The American s’more.
It’s a simple, three-ingredient dish that doesn’t require much in the way of cooking, but there are s’more variables than you may think. Let’s explore these nuances together, and see if we can settle on what makes a platonically ideal s’more.
- How toasted do you like your marshmallow? I am a torcher, and like to set my mallows fully ablaze. Not only do I think the char balances the overwhelming sweetness of the s’more, but I’m also very impatient.
- Besides a campfire, which is always preferable, what heat sources do you use? Broiling s’mores, top cracker removed, is very good, as it browns the marshmallow and melts the chocolate at the same rate. It also let’s you make a whole bunch at once, making a s’mores bar a very party-friendly option.
- Please describe your campfire s’more making process, if you have one: While I am torching my marshmallow, I like to lay a graham cracker on a piece of foil, put a piece of chocolate on it, and place it close to the fire. A wire rack, set over some hot coals but not in the actual fire, also works well.
- What are your preferred brands of chocolate, marshmallow, and chocolate? I stick with the American classics – Honeymade, Jet-Puffed, and Hershey’s. Though the acid in Hershey’s makes it off-putting to those who didn’t grow up with it, I kind of enjoy the slight tartness it brings. Barring Hershey, a sweat chocolate like Cadbury is key for proper melting.
- How do we feel about these banana s’more boat things? I think hot bananas are a bad idea so it’s a “no” from me.
- What about s’mores dip? You know I’m a fan.
- Do you even swap out the graham cracker for another delivery system? Broil some chocolate and marshmallows on potato chips. It will change your life.
- How do you get the chocolate melty? Is it even necessary? Of course it’s necessary – what a dumb question. According to this very scientific article on the subject, you need your marshmallow to reach a temperature of 71C for proper chocolate meltage, though I don’t know anyone who brings an instant read thermometer camping.
- Does anyone else remember those microwave s’mores in the early 90s? What the heck were they called?
- What s’more flavored products do you enjoy? The s’mores Pop Tarts are pretty chill, even if their social media presence is not. The Oreo – which they did NOT call “s’mOreo” – is also pretty good.
As usual, feel free to add any comments or ask any questions that have anything to do with the topic at hand. If it has to do with chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows, I’d love to hear it.