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Cracking History: The Fascinating Origin of Graham Crackers


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Picture this: a cozy campfire, molten marshmallows dancing on wooden sticks, and the irresistible aroma of melted milk chocolate wafting through the air. What is the perfect way to bring these delightful elements together, you may ask? Well, of course it’s the unsung hero of countless outdoor adventures and delectable desserts — the humble graham cracker! But you may not know the surprising history of this honey-infused cracker with plenty of nutritional value, as it is kind of a weird story.

Join us as we explore the fascinating history of this sweet delight, from its humble beginnings as a health food, to its starring role in baked goods like pie crusts, cheesecakes, and s'mores. We’ll also highlight some of the scrumptious candy products Redstone Foods has to offer that feature graham crackers.

A Bite-Sized History of the Graham Cracker:

The tale of the graham cracker begins in the early 19th century, with a man named Sylvester Graham. No, he wasn't a master baker, a seasoned confectioner, or even a sugar aficionado by any stretch of the imagination. This was a Presbyterian minister from Connecticut, with a fervent belief that there was a direct connection between a person’s diet and their potential for moral purity.

Graham was a strong advocate for a vegetarian diet, and a morally pure lifestyle. He created what we now know as the graham cracker as part of his crusade for spiritual and dietary reform. This bland cracker came out of his desire to create a flour that used all parts of the wheat grain: bran, germ and endosperm, this would later become known as graham flour.

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At its inception, Graham's creation was far from the sweet, crunchy treat we now recognize today. In the early 1830s, he crafted a simple concoction made from his coarse wheat flour, bran, oil, molasses, and salt. This was a far cry from the honey-kissed, cinnamon-infused crackers we adore now. Graham aimed to develop a diet that suppressed the biological urges of adolescents and adults, and these bland, yet healthy crackers were a key component of his plan.

As time marched on, the graham cracker went through a delicious evolution. Bakers began experimenting with recipes, adding spices like cinnamon, and sweeteners like sugar cane and brown sugar to transform Graham's creation into the beloved snack cracker we know and love today. Graham crackers therefore were able to gain popularity not for their supposed moral virtues, but for their delightful taste and versatility.

In 1898, the National Biscuit Company (now known as Nabisco) released the first mass-produced graham crackers to the American public. They have been a staple in American pantries ever since.

From Pies to S'mores: The Graham Cracker's Culinary Odyssey:

My grandparents seemed to always have a box of graham crackers at their house. Even with all the candy that was around me when I was a kid, one of my favorite after school snacks was definitely some graham crackers and milk. It was the perfect snack for my growing body, and I could eat an entire sleeve of them really fast!

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But, the graham cracker's versatility doesn't stop at snacking. It quickly found its way into the hearts (and ovens) of bakers worldwide, becoming a staple in the creation of pie crusts and other baked goods. The subtle sweetness and sturdy texture of graham cracker crumbs provide the perfect foundation for luscious cheesecakes, dreamy cream pies, and everything in between.

But the real magic with graham crackers happens exclusively around a campfire. In the early 20th century, the graham cracker became the star ingredient in one of America's favorite treats—s'mores. Just take an ooey-gooey, fire-roasted marshmallow, a square of milk chocolate, then sandwich them between two crisp graham crackers and you’re in sweet tooth heaven! Each bite is a harmonious blend of textures and flavors that have continued to delight our taste buds for generations.

A Look at Some of the Delicious Graham Cracker Products Available From Redstone Foods:

At Redstone Foods, we have a selection of graham cracker creations that will elevate your snacking experience to a whole new level. Our continued dedication to quality and taste is reflected in the delightful products we offer.

From simple chocolate-covered graham crackers to innovative twists like chocolate-filled marshmallow bites, rolled in crushed graham cracker crumbs and even s’mores-flavored chocolate bars, these products are the perfect addition to any candy shop’s lineup! Let’s take a look at what we have to offer:

Acapella Knotty Grahams

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Made In Nature has really come up with something special with their Acapella Knotty Grahams. These feature crispy honey graham cracker knots are dipped in chocolate and made with four different flavors that are out of this world!

Their Cookies ’N Cream Knotty Grahams are covered with white chocolate and sprinkled with chocolate cookie crumbs. Their Cinnamon Churro Knotty Grahams are flavored with cinnamon, covered in white chocolate and rolled in cinnamon sugar for a delicious flavor explosion! They also come in Peanut Butter Chocolate, and Double Dark Chocolate Sea Salt flavors.

These products offer the perfect crunch to add to your sweet tooth cravings. All Acapella Knotty Grahams products are non-GMO, contain no artificial colors, or flavors and are made with fair-trade chocolate, so you can feel good about being naughty! (Don’t worry, we won’t tell Sylvester Graham just how naughty you’ve been). They even come in a resealable bag, so they’re the perfect way to enjoy a sweet chocolatey snack whenever you’re in the mood for one!

Asher’s Milk Chocolate Mini Grahams

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These miniature treats are crafted with precision, offering a perfect balance of crisp, honey-kissed graham cracker goodness enveloped in a smooth layer of premium milk chocolate. Ideal for those moments when you crave a sweet escape, Asher's Milk Chocolate Mini Grahams redefine on-the-go snacking with every delectable bite. Experience the joy of convenience without compromising on flavor, making these mini delights a must-have for any chocolate and graham cracker enthusiast.

Asher’s Dark Chocolate Wrapped Graham Cracker in Display

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Experience indulgence like never before with Asher’s Dark Chocolate Wrapped Graham Crackers, elegantly presented in a captivating display. Each carefully crafted square is a harmonious blend of velvety dark chocolate enveloping the classic allure of honey-kissed graham cracker. The richness of the dark chocolate complements the subtly sweet and satisfying crunch of the graham cracker, creating a harmonious blend of decadent flavors that’s not to be missed!

Hammond’s More S’mores Chocolate Bar

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Hammond’s Candies knows a thing or two about creating the perfect candy bar. Their More S’mores chocolate bar is yet another prime example of their expertise in the confectioner’s kitchen! Exquisite milk chocolate meets marshmallows and graham cracker crumbs to take the magic of the campfire with you anywhere, anytime!

This isn’t just a treat, it's a blissful escape encapsulated in every lavish mouthful, a testament to Hammond’s commitment to creating confectionery masterpieces that transcend the ordinary and elevate the chocolate experience for chocolate lovers everywhere!

Stuffed Puffs S’mores Filled Marshmallow Bites

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Stuffed Puffs S’mores have made a trip to S’moresville even more attainable than ever before! Offering an effortlessly indulgent experience, these graham cracker coated marshmallows, with a gooey milk chocolate and graham cracker crumbles center are the closest you can get without building your own campfire. Put them in your toaster oven, or air fryer for just a minute or two and you’ll have the softest, gooeyest s’mores bites that will melt in your mouth and leave you wanting more!

As we’ve unraveled the rich layers of the graham cracker's history, it's clear that this unassuming treat has become much more than just a simple snack. From its roots in dietary reformation, to its starring roles in pies, s'mores, candies and sweet snacks, the graham cracker has woven its way into the fabric of our bountiful American culinary culture.

At Redstone Foods, we're proud to be part of this sweet journey, offering a range of graham cracker delights that cater to everyone’s taste buds. We’ve been in the candy industry for over 60 years, so we understand the importance of quality and variety, and our products reflect our commitment to delivering satisfying sweetness in every package we ship.

So, the next time you bite into a graham cracker, whether on its own, in a pie, or as part of a gooey s'more, remember the fascinating journey this simple snack has taken. From Sylvester Graham's moral mission to the delightful creations available today from Redstone Foods, the graham cracker's story is one of sweetness, versatility, and timeless joy.

Sign up for an account with us online or give us a call today and find out why Redstone Foods is proud to be America’s favorite candy distributor!