Graham cracker

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Graham cracker
Modern graham crackers
Alternative names Graham wafer
Type Cookie
Main ingredients Graham flour
Cookbook: Graham cracker  Media: Graham cracker

The graham cracker is a type of cookie confectionery.

It was inspired by the preaching of Sylvester Graham, who was a part of and strongly influenced by the 19th century temperance movement; Graham believed that a vegetarian diet anchored by home-made whole grain bread, made from wheat coarsely ground at home, as part of a lifestyle that involved minimizing pleasure and stimulation of all kinds, was how God intended people to live and that following this natural law would keep people healthy. His preaching was taken up widely in the US in the midst of the 1829–51 cholera pandemic.[1]:15–27[2]:29–35 [3][4] His followers, Grahamites, formed one of the first vegetarian movements in the US, and graham flour, graham crackers, and graham bread were created for them and marketed to them; Graham did not invent these products nor profit from them.[1]:29[3]

The digestive biscuit is a very similar product that originated in the United Kingdom. It is commonly available in Australia, South Africa, Ireland and other nations related to the UK.[5] Grahm crackers are used as an ingredient in various deserts, including as a base for pie crust and cheese cake as well as an essential ingredient in making smores.[6][7][8][9][10]

The name can be pronounced as /ˈɡr.əm/ or /ˈɡræm/.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Iacobbo, Karen; Iacobbo, Michael (2004). Vegetarian America : a history. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. ISBN 978-0275975197. 
  2. ^ Smith, Andrew F. (2009). Eating history : 30 turning points in the making of American cuisine. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231140928. 
  3. ^ a b Tompkins, K. W. (2009). "Sylvester Graham's Imperial Dietetics". Gastronomica. 9: 50–60. JSTOR 10.1525/gfc.2009.9.1.50. doi:10.1525/gfc.2009.9.1.50. 
  4. ^ Money, J. (1982). "Sex, Diet, and Debility in Jacksonian America: Sylvester Graham and Health Reform". The Journal of Sex Research. 18 (2): 181–182. doi:10.2307/3812085. 
  5. ^ Panati, Charles (1989). Panati's extraordinary origins of everyday things. San Francisco: Perennial Library. p. 413. ISBN 0-06-096419-7. Retrieved 2011-04-08. The graham cracker originated as a health food, and in Britain it is still known as a "digestive biscuit." 
  6. ^ Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History, p. 29, Eating History: Thirty Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine, Columbia Press 2009.
  7. ^ Baking as Biography: A Life Story in Recipes, Diane Tye, p. 102, 2010 McGill-Queen's University Press
  8. ^ Cooking: The Quintessential Art, Hervñe This and Pierre Gagnaire. California Studies in Food and Culture Ed. 1, 2008, University of California Press.
  9. ^ Bourbon Desserts, Lyn M. Hulsman, p.24 2014, University Press of Kentucky.
  10. ^ Oxford advanced learner's dictionary of current English, def:smores, A Hornby et. al., Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010.