Graham crackers are most commonly associated with sweet toppings and campfire creations. Case in point: the s’more. Is there anything more American (or delicious) than wedging a toasted, golden-brown marshmallow and melted chocolate in between two graham crackers? We’re hard-pressed to think of a single thing.
But it turns out that the popular snack food has a not-so-sweet history. In fact, the original recipe was intended to taste like cardboard and — get this — curb one’s sex drive. According to our friends at Great Big Story, the cracker’s inventor was Sylvester Graham, a 19th-century Presbyterian minister who believed that alcohol, meat and fatty foods led to greed, lust and sexual urges. Of course, that had to be stopped.
Graham’s simple hypothesis? Bland foods would curb sexual appetite. As a result, he developed a cracker made of unbleached flour, wheat germ and bran — and perhaps most importantly, no sugar! Though his crackers created somewhat of a cult following, his theories eventually tipped the scales of extremism, and his death in 1851 led to several changes for the now-beloved treat, including the additions of sugar, honey, cinnamon and chocolate. Now that you know the full story, would anyone like s’more?