One of America’s Favorites – Graham Crackers

February 15, 2021 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Modern mass-produced graham crackers

A graham cracker (pronounced /ˈɡreɪ.əm/ or /ˈɡræm/ in America) is a sweet flavored cracker made with graham flour that originated in the United States in the early 1880s. It is eaten as a snack food, usually honey- or cinnamon-flavored, and is used as an ingredient in some foods.

 

The graham cracker was inspired by the preaching of Sylvester Graham who was part of the 19th-century temperance movement. He believed that minimizing pleasure and stimulation of all kinds, coupled with a vegetarian diet anchored by bread made from wheat coarsely ground at home, was how God intended people to live, and that following this natural law would keep people healthy. His preaching was taken up widely in the midst of the 1829–51 cholera pandemic. His followers were called Grahamites and formed one of the first vegetarian movements in America; graham flour, graham crackers, and graham bread were created for them. Graham neither invented nor profited from these products.

A s’more

The main ingredients in its earlier preparations were graham flour, oil, shortening or lard, molasses and salt. Graham crackers have been a mass-produced food product in the United States since 1898, with the National Biscuit Company being the first to mass-produce it at that time. The Loose-Wiles Biscuit Company also began mass-producing the product beginning sometime in the early 1910s. The product continues to be mass-produced in the U.S. today. In earlier times, mass-produced graham crackers were typically prepared using yeast-leavened dough, which added flavor to the food via the process of fermentation, whereas contemporary mass-production of the product typically omits this process. The dough is sometimes chilled before being rolled out, which prevents blistering and breakage from occurring when the product is baked.

 

Graham cracker crumbs are used to create graham cracker crusts for pies and moon pies, and as a base, layer or topping for cheesecake. Graham cracker pie crusts are also mass-produced in the United States, and consumer versions of the product typically consist of a graham cracker crumb mixture pressed into an aluminum pie pan. The graham cracker is a main ingredient in the preparation of the s’more. Graham crackers are also commonly used in place of broas in the traditional Filipino icebox cake mango float.

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