Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Origin of Graham(s) crackers!

What exactly is a Graham Cracker? To be honest I haven't really thought of them much since I was a kid. Holding these tiny rectangles of golden goodness still bring me back to a time where I could barely fit one in my hand.

But what exactly is a Graham? The answer might surprise you.

Graham flour was invented by a Presbyterian Reverend, Sylvester Graham in 1829, to help battle the evils of the industrial revolution and its white flour! It originated as a health food, with the reverend railing against the chemical treatment, loss of the germ and bran and bleaching of flour to make white bread.

Rev. Graham was on the right nutritional track in attempting to move to a more whole grain wheat and away from bleached white flour. However the goal of the Graham diet wasn't to reduce your waistline or get more vital nutrients. Graham believed that a strict adherence to a diet heavy on vegetables, whole grains, and high fiber foods, with a complete lack of spices and meat would lead to a cure for "impure thoughts" and "remove the need for masturbation"... Yeah... I think we can all agree this would work nearly as well as eating raw potatoes.

When you make white flour you separate the bran (outer coating), germ (embryo) and endosperm. Only the endosperm is kept and ground into white flour. Unfortunately, as we now know, a huge amount of the fiber, protein and nutrients are in the bran and germ.

When you make Graham flour you coarsely grind the Bran and Germ, and finely ground the endosperm creating a rough and smooth textured flour. This gives today's Grahams Cracker (that's how the boxes spell it) their unique texture. However, I highly doubt the Rev. Graham would approve of all of the provocative sugar and sensual honey added to today's Grahams Crackers. It's enough to make a boy blush!


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