S’mores. The ultimate childhood delight. When I think s’mores, I immediately think summertime. Camp. Camping. Campfires. In high school my family and I spent the entire summer camping around the country. I think we hit 42 states to be exact. On every so special occasion (and my favorite nights) we would eat s’mores before bedtime. One might be wondering what the relevance of s’mores is to February. I beg you to keep reading. The origin of the dessert is unclear but the first mention of the recipe can be found in the 1927 book, “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts.” Makes sense. I, never a girl scout, still love this delectable dessert.
I spent this past weekend with a best friend in Washington. She recently received a s’mores kit complete with skewers and a sterno. We sat around the table, lit the flame, carefully browned our marshmallows, broke large hunks of dark chocolate (not milk as we both feel dark is the only way to go) and using our graham crackers, crafted oozing and gooey messes. A windy, cold night, six inches of snow on the ground and the month of February created a totally different s’mores experience than my summertime youth.
Then I began thinking. S’mores hasn’t always been just a warm weather enjoyment. While working in England at the boarding school, Wellington College, my friend Shannon (a fellow colleague here at Feast!) and I instituted “Mega Fat Thursdays” (followed by “Super Workout Fridays) with the other young teachers at the school. Hosted in my flat, British teachers would bring puddings, the Australians would bring fairy bread (white bread spread with butter and dusted with rainbow sprinkles) and we Americans would make s’mores…but with an English twist. As graham crackers and Hershey bars could not be found in any grocery store, we substituted digestives and Cadbury chocolate respectively. And with sternos and grills not readily available, we may have used the microwave (not my first choice!) but nevertheless, puddings, fairy bread and s’mores helped us all get through the dreary, dark English winter months. As I pondered eating s’mores to beat the winter time blues, I thought, what a perfect Valentine’s Day treat.
S’mores can also be an epicurean delight. Max Brenner concocts a s’mores with marshmallow fluff, milk chocolate, graham crackers and caramelized bananas. The restaurant Luna Park in Los Angeles creates a s’more consisting of molten marshmallow, bittersweet chocolate and house-made graham crackers. Here at Feast, we have the ingredients to make the most delicious, gourmet, Valentine’s Day s’more. Try Little Flower Candy Company Vanilla Marshmallows, Polly Style Honey Graham Crackers and Gearharts dark chocolate Criolla bar (or maybe try Hunt Country’s Milk Chocolate, Honey and Cashew bark for an added crunch and twist!)…I can’t imagine anything better.
Set the oven to a broil; place the honey grahams on a sheet tray, top with a piece of chocolate followed by a vanilla marshmallow. Place underneath the broiler but watch very carefully! In about 2-5 minutes, the marshmallows should turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately top with the second graham cracker…And as a celebration of Valentine’s Day, enjoy with two glasses of Veritas Mousseux…..