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Why Were Graham Crackers Invented?

The question “Why Were Graham Crackers Invented?” has swept social media, and the answer might surprise you! Let’s dive into the bizarre origin story of this famous American snack.

The Bizarre History Behind Graham Crackers

Honey-sweetened Graham crackers are a famous American snack. Sure, you might know them as a crucial ingredient in campfire s’mores. Or maybe you’ve pulverized them into a crust for a cheesecake once upon a time.

Lately, however, social media has been aflutter with the sweet cracker’s origin story. And it’s a bit bonkers, to say the least.

Let’s just say, sweet treats weren’t what their inventor had in mind when Graham crackers entered the chat in the early 1800s.

What Are Graham Crackers?

Graham crackers are crispy and cookie-like, made from graham flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon, and sweetened with honey. They were invented by presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham in the early 19th century.

Who Was Sylvester Graham?

Graham was a leading figure in the temperance movement in the US, and not-so-mildly obsessed with what he deemed to be healthy living. A key part of his teachings was that a bland, plant-based diet free from stimulants was how god intended people to live. Sounds pretty reasonable, right?

Why Were Graham Crackers Invented?

The above thinking led Graham to create Graham crackers. True to their creator’s beliefs, these crispy, plain snacks were originally made at home from coarsely ground whole wheat. But that’s not the part that has the internet’s attention.

Graham’s main goal when inventing and promoting his diet of plain wheat crackers was to prevent people from experiencing certain… ahem… sexual desires. Yes, you read correctly. Graham believed that such urges could lead to blindness and even death! Naturally, Graham crackers were the solution. 

*Cue collective internet hysteria*

Needless to say, while their use has changed since the 19th century, Graham crackers have stood the test of time. They’re now a popular snack for different reasons, as well as a common ingredient in many desserts, from s’mores to cheesecake crusts.

More Curious Food History

Sources: Independent.co.uk, Scotsman.com

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