Here's the scoop: May 28, 2013

Sticky, sweet goodness
With all of the TV shows dedicated to food these days, it seems like there’s always someone taking credit for “inventing” certain dishes. Often these concoctions are wild combinations of foods that most people would never dream of pairing.

Personally, I’m more of a fan of foods that aren’t fancy, but simply taste good — can’t get enough peanut butter and jelly. While I appreciate creative dishes, my palate is pretty easy to please. My stomach, too.

I guess that’s why I was so happy over the weekend when my wife decided to go “back to basics.” Better yet, the featured item was dessert. In my book, dessert doesn’t get much simpler or more yummy than s’mores. Who doesn’t like graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows melted all together in a gooey assembly of sugary madness?

Most researchers give credit to the Girl Scouts for either inventing or, at least, providing the first written documentation of the s’more recipe in the late 1920s. Society is grateful for this contribution.

But, back to the present — the s’mores we enjoyed over the weekend weren’t just any s’mores, these babies were homemade (except for the chocolate). If you’ve never had homemade graham crackers, let me tell you they are way better than the kind that come packaged in plastic wrap and get soggy 15 minutes after being opened. I guess the homemade ones may got soggy, too, but they never stick around for 15 minutes. They’re that good.

New appreciation
The recipe for homemade s’mores also sheds a whole new sticky light on marshmallows. Under ordinary circumstances, marshmallows are…kind of gross. Unless they’ve been overheated into a charred mess on an open campfire. Then, they are OK. Homemade marshmallows take this simple “food” to another level. One that actually tastes good — even without the benefit of a searing open flame.

In fact, homemade marshmallows could pretty much be a meal by themselves. I have tried them as a main course several times in the past few days and they work. With milk, of course.
Ultimately, though, it’s the combination of the graham crackers, marshmallows and good quality chocolate that takes these homemade s’mores into consideration for my Dessert Hall of Fame.

Pure goodness
They taste fantastic and the fact that these little sugar sandwiches are really messy just adds to the thrill of consumption. I have a simple theory for dessert — rating treats by a combination of the number of napkins used and the amount of times I exclaim, “Sweeter than the Red Sox rallying from three games down to beat the Yankees in the 2004 League Championship!” That’s a mouthful, but it works.

As much as I now love homemade s’mores, I think it’s appropriate to caution folks who may want to try these desserts at home, that there’s such a thing as eating too many of these gooey sandwiches. Sugar is good in moderation, but homemade s’mores pose a triple-threat that’s enhanced by how your tongue will welcome these concoctions. My advice: “Just Say No S’more— to the fourth serving.”
— Brian Sweeney