This last weekend we went camping for the first time in about seven or eight years. We’re not big on camping – or rather, I am not big on camping. I’ve done it a lot throughout my life, and most trips I’ve gotten sick, been rained on, have been very cold and the entire time each time have felt like I could use a real shower. So you can imagine my less than enthusiastic demeanor when we decided to buy a brand new tent and sleeping bag this summer (thank goodness REI is a great store for returns). But as we got closer to our trip, I started thinking about how it would be warmer than when I’ve gone camping in the past, how the weather forecast didn’t have a rain cloud in sight, and how much food we would be eating. Truth be told, it was really the food I thought about first.
With the number of times that I have gone camping in my life you would think that I would have had s’mores. The reality is that I have never, until this past weekend, consumed a s’more. Yes, it’s true, and yes, it is weird. But there you go. So I decided that one of my foodie tasks this weekend was to introduce myself to the s’more, vegan style.
- Vegan graham crackers
- Vegan marshmallows (I used Dandies, a vegan and gluten free marshmallow product)
- Vegan chocolate bar (I used a locally produced chocolate, Theo)
- Fire for roasting marshmallows, and a roasting stick or thin tree branch
First, make sure you have a fire going (outside of course!). Then gather all your ingredients together.
A quick confession. When I went to find graham crackers, I thought I read all of the ingredients and had determined that I was getting the vegan variety. Unfortunately, I later discovered this to not be the case. Every single graham cracker box I looked at this weekend has said that their crackers contain honey, an ingredient that is definitely not okay with some (not all) vegans. The best way to avoid honey, obviously, is to make your own graham crackers, but that’s another post for another time.
I don’t know if Dandies marshmallows normally come like this, but these marshmallows were all clumped together. Not at all like your standard marshmallows. But these were the only vegan variety I could find, so I decided to try them. I did sample them first, and while they don’t taste exactly like a gelatin marshmallow, they are similar. The real difference is the texture. It’s just not quite the same.
Get all of your ingredients ready. Because the Dandies were clumping together, I just tore off a chunk and smashed it together.
Stick the marshmallow on your roasting stick and start roasting away. Don’t hold it directly in the fire, but hold it close enough that it will start to brown. Also be sure to slowly turn the stick so that the marshmallow will brown evenly.
When you make the s’more you want to be sure that you can put it together pretty quickly so that the heat from the marshmallow can melt the chocolate. With your chocolate already on top of one of your graham crackers, place the warm marshmallow on top of the chocolate. Put your other graham cracker on top of the marshmallow and press everything together. Remove the roasting stick.
Give the chocolate a chance to melt, but honestly, it may not melt at all. If that is the case, if you have tongs so that you can hold the whole thing over your fire or another way to warm up your entire s’more (maybe wrap it in foil and place it next to your fire for a couple of minutes), then you may have more success in getting the chocolate melt.
Maybe it was the marshmallow or the fact that my chocolate didn’t melt or because I used cinnamon graham crackers instead of plain, but I was underwhelmed to be honest. I’m not one to be easily deterred, though, so I am going to find a way to make s’mores and like them. I’m up to my self-imposed challenge!
Have you ever had s’mores? Any tips on how to make the perfect s’more?