Why were graham crackers invented: The strange story behind the snack

Why were graham crackers invented: The strange story behind the snack

A graham cracker is a sweet flavoured cracker made with graham flour that originated in the US in the mid-19th century. While the snack is a common delicacy worldwide right now, many do not know the actual origin of the crackers. When it was first invented, the function of this delicacy was not to sandwich melted chocolate and toasted marshmallows together. So, why were graham crackers invented?

Why were graham crackers invented
Graham cracker photo shot close up with a macro lens and a white background. Photo: Garrett Aitken
Source: Getty Images

A new trend has started on the various social media platform, one that has left everyone who has seen it in shock. The trend is that viewers are being asked to google why crackers were invented, and the responses are shocking. So now that your interest in this topic has been piqued, it is time to take a deep dive into the graham cracker history.

Have you ever tasted a graham cracker? Did you like it? If you did, you have one man to thank for that. His name is Sylvester Graham, and he was an evangelical minister in the mid 19th century. However, this is not the most shocking part of the origin of graham crackers.

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The strange story behind the snack

What were graham crackers invented to prevent? The crackers were designed to stop sexual urges and desires. The inventor believed that diet was vital in suppressing sexual urges and advocated for a strict diet full of fibre. This is what led to the creation of the crackers.

Where did graham crackers originate from? The cracker originated from the teachings of an evangelical minister who believed that minimizing pleasure and stimulation of all kinds was how God intended people to live. Specifically, he believed that preventing masturbation, coupled with a vegetarian diet anchored by bread made from coarsely ground wheat, was the way to go.

The minister preached that sexual desire was sinful and could cause serious illnesses such as epilepsy, spinal disease, and even the early death of offspring. He believed that a vegetarian high-fibre diet was the way to go as meat and fat increased list.

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These teachings were taken up widely as there was a cholera pandemic ravaging the world at that time. Everyone who subscribed to this rule of thought was called a Grahamite, and together, they formed one of the first vegetarian movements in America. Graham flour, graham crackers, and graham bread were created for them.

It is essential to mention that it is unclear whether Graham directly invented or profited from these products. Instead, he may have been the inspiration behind whoever made the products.

Do the crackers still curb sexual urges?

Why were graham crackers invented
Healthy Honey Graham Crackers on a Plate. Photo: bhofack2
Source: Getty Images

After knowing why graham crackers were invented, it is natural to wonder whether or not the original idea the Reverend had is still valid for the crackers today. However, it has been over a century since they were invented, and many changes have occurred.

The original crackers were made strictly using unshifted wheat flour (graham flour), which Graham believed was better than the sifted flour. The cracker was created as the healthier alternative to processed white bread and was named after the preacher. For the original graham crackers, the only ingredients involved were graham flour, oil, shortening or lard, molasses, and salt.

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However, assuming that Graham’s assumptions were correct, the crackers we eat today would not curb sexual urges since they are made using refined products. In addition, the contemporary production of the crackers omits the process of fermentation.

Uses of graham crackers

Now that the age-old question of why graham crackers were made has been answered, here are various ways you can consume the snack. Don’t worry, the effects of consuming the treat are not as dire as the Reverend made them out to be. You can consume graham crackers in the following ways:

  • Graham cracker crusts for pies and moon pies
  • As a base, layer, or topping for cheesecake
  • As the main ingredient in the preparation of smores

Why were graham crackers invented? The snack was developed as an attempt to reduce sexual activity in the mid-19th century. The inventor, Sylvester Graham, believed that unhealthy food caused an increase in sexual activity. Therefore, crackers made using graham flour were one of the healthy foods meant to prevent this.

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Have you ever had an Irish car bomb cocktail? Yen.com.gh recently published an article that details the history, recipe, and variations of the controversial drink.

The Irish car bomb is a beer-based cocktail made by dropping a shot of Irish cream and whiskey into a stout glass. The cocktail features Irish cream and whiskey hence the Irish name in the title.

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Source: Yen

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