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Adults, it’s ok to admit that s’mores are disgusting without fear of offending your childhood self.
Just try to imagine this: At some point in time someone bit into a marshmallow and said to themselves, “maybe if I put this on a stick and set fire to it, it would taste better. Nope, that didn’t work. Maybe If I set fire to it and then stick it between crackers and chocolate. Ugh…it’s edible… I guess.” But why are we eating it in the first place? It’s not like it’s a vegetable or something healthy. The only time you drown the taste of something with something else is when that food is good for you or someone is making you eat it! Why else would you be eating it?
As a kid it makes sense. They want everything mixed and mashed together. If they see dirt and they see water, they mix the two. It’s like when you were a kid and you walked up to a soda fountain machine and mixed one of every flavor. Never mind that you just combined Fanta Grape with A&W Root Beer. Kids don’t care, they know it tastes horrible, but they can’t admit it to themselves for fear they’ll stop doing it.
Add this to the fact the only time we as adults let them have s’mores is on special occasions. This is probably because we hate making them as much as we do eating them. They are a nightmare to clean up after. Crusty marshmallow drippings all over shoes and in ears. Melted chocolate wiped across the side of the camper and on the dog’s back. Cracker crumbs leading the way for the army of ants that are going to inevitably invade your site the next morning. And yet, after knowing all of this, we still find the need to make a huge production out of them whenever we make them at the campsite.
We even have special pokers customized for s’mores that are kept tucked away in a special carrier or compartment. I get asked by my children 5,000 times a day “Dad, where are my shoes?” “Dad, where is my army knife?” Dad, where is my brother?” They seem incapable of finding anything without help. But once dinner is finished and I have a fire started, the only thing I have to say is “Kids, get the gear…” and like magic they can locate everything needed to make s’mores without once asking one single question and within seconds they are gathered around me like it is a sermon.
But if I were to let my kids have them whenever they wanted, in a non-drama filled environment, cooked over a match in the kitchen, they would never want them. They would take the chocolate, eat it, and be happy.
With all that said, our kids still make s’mores every night of every trip. So, if you are new to the ritual or want to step up your game, consider the options below for your next trip
For heaven’s sake please don’t buy the largest marshmallow you can find. Your kids will beg you too, then when it comes to the roasting the marshmallow will end up with a charred outside and a raw inside and when you try to squeeze it together using the crackers all hell will break loose. Your child will have a lapful of crackers and chocolate and will be looking to you to fix it. Buy the medium size marshmallows. We like the medium size Kraft Jet Puffed but just about any brand will do.
Don’t make a project out of choosing the crackers. We stick with the Honey Maid brand which can be found about anywhere. They seem to stay fresh for a while. But really any graham cracker will work provided they aren’t stale. Make sure that they do come perforated, so they are easy to break in half evenly.
Admittedly I am not a chocolate expert. I don’t really like chocolate. What I do know is that you should always use milk chocolate versus dark chocolate. The milk chocolate melts easier due to the higher amount of cocoa butter in them. Other than that, choose a type that breaks easily and evenly into squares.
If ease and convenience are important to you then you can also but kits that come with everything that you need. And some even have a carrying case so that you can show off just how much you love convenience.
You surprisingly have many different options these days. When I was a kid it was the first stick you could find that was long enough to keep your arm hairs from getting singed and strong enough to avoid the heartbreak of your stick breaking and losing your marshmallow to the fire. Nowadays it seems roasting sticks are a cottage industry. For example:
1. The buy it in bulk disposable roasting stick
If you find that you really enjoy s’mores, or just like to troll others, they are surprisingly many other s’mores associated products out on the market that you may want to consider.
2. The electric s’mores maker. If you buy this your kids will figure out the can now eat s’mores at home and may never want to go camping again. Depending on who you are, this may or may not be a good thing.