|Old-fashioned goodness: Laura’s Handcrafted Grahams. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky|THE NIBBLE||CAPSULE REPORT: One might lust after the perfect graham cracker without knowing that graham crackers were actually invented to control lust, by The Reverend Sylvester Graham (1794-1851), an eccentric Presbyterian minister from Connecticut. The Reverend believed that physical lust was the cause of maladies, from biggies, like consumption, spinal disease, epilepsy and insanity, to everyday indispositions such as headaches and indigestion.
His “cure” was to suppress carnal urges, for which he prescribed a strict vegetarian diet and the avoidance of alcohol, tobacco and refined white flour. Toward this end, he invented the eponymous graham flour, from whence came the graham cracker. Graham flour is a form of whole wheat flour in which the bran and germ layers are returned and mixed in, producing a coarse, brown flour with a nutty and slightly sweet flavor. (Grape Nuts cereal is made of graham flour.)Many graham crackers have followed, but today, the commercial version is a pallid affair. For graham crackers with gusto, try the homemade taste of Tiny Trapeze, reviewed by THE NIBBLE a few years ago,
|and Laura’s Handcrafted Graham Crackers, a recent discovery. As cookies go, these are not a diet disaster: Both brands weigh in at about 50 calories apiece. Two cookies with a glass of milk or a cup of tea or coffee can be extremely soul-satisfying. The Reverend would approve.
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