Why were Graham Crackers Invented?

Why were Graham Crackers Invented?

Why were Graham Crackers Invented?

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In the latest offbeat social media trend in 2022, users are challenging each other to research why graham crackers were invented. Today, the humble American snack is a key component of most American breakfast menus. But originally, the cracker was created with a completely different purpose.

What is a Graham Cracker?

A graham cracker is a sweet-tasting cracker made from graham flour that originated in the United States in the mid-19th century, with commercial development around 1880. It is usually eaten as a snack, usually flavoured with sweet honey or cinnamon, and used as an ingredient in some foods.

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Why were Graham Crackers Invented?

Frankly speaking, the purpose of the invention of graham crackers was to prevent people from experiencing sexual desires. 

The idea behind the now popular snack was started by Reverend Sylvester Graham, a Presbyterian preacher in Connecticut who believed that sexual desires, including masturbation, made people physically ill and led to the depravity that would be detrimental to their health. Graham promoted the creation of the famous simple snack with the intention of alleviating people’s sexual desires. He believed that following a healthy plant-based diet, free of pleasure and stimulation was the way God intended for people to live. This diet was based on the use of homemade bread with coarsely ground wheat.

From Graham’s magnum opus, the stable effective correlation between sex and health was often simple: the more immoral the activity of human beings, the furthermore it harmed the body of human beings -The Atlantic.

Graham’s own version of the bread, a soft cracker that he believed was the answer to processed white bread, eventually became known by name. While it is debated whether Graham actually created the first graham cracker, as some reports claim the recipe for the snack didn’t appear until nearly 30 years later, the cracker still bears his name. However, unlike the graham crackers of the past, today’s variations usually come coated in sugar or honey, and the cookie can often be seen broken up with melted chocolate and marshmallows to make s’mores.

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Free of Sugar and Sin

In relation to the Graham Cracker, Graham told young people in his lecture that they could prevent their minds from wandering into forbidden places by avoiding “undue excitement of the brain, stomach, and bowels.” This meant giving up unsuitable foods and substances such as tobacco, caffeine, pepper, ginger, mustard, horseradish and mint. Even further, milk was banned too because it was considered too exciting and too oppressive.

Who was Sylvester Graham – Inventor of Graham Cracker? 

Graham, a Presbyterian minister, emerged as a dietary reformer in the early 19th century. His calls for a simple and bland diet won him a large following known as Grahamites. Graham is also credited with founding one of the first vegetarianism movements in the United States and is considered by some to be the “father of vegetarianism”. Along with a stimulant-free diet, Graham encouraged his followers to partake in a lifestyle without comforts, avoiding lukewarm baths and sleeping on hard beds.

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Uses of Graham Crackers

Graham cracker crumbs are used to create a graham cracker crust for pies and moonshine and as a base, layer or topping for cheesecake. Graham crackers are also mass-produced in the United States, with consumer versions of the product typically consisting of a mixture of graham cracker crumbs pressed into an aluminium pie pan. The graham cracker is the main ingredient in making a s’more. Graham crackers are also commonly used in place of ladybugs in the traditional mango float.

Production of Graham Crackers

The Loose-Wiles Biscuit Company began mass producing the product in the early 1910s. The product continues to be mass-produced as per demand in the US today. In earlier times, mass-produced graham crackers were typically made from a leavened dough that added flavour to the food through a fermentation process, while today’s mass production of the product generally omits this process. Sometimes the dough is chilled before rolling, which prevents blistering and breaking during baking. Read More

References:

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