(NEXSTAR) – S’mores — the official treat of people who enjoy having sticky hands — have existed in some form or another for over a hundred years.
But the name “s’more”? That came about decades later.
One of the earliest known recipes for the s’more was published around 1920, in a cookbook commissioned by the Campfire Marshmallow Company. Much like today’s s’more, the treat consisted of chocolate and toasted marshmallow sandwiched between two graham crackers — but it went by a different and arguably more accurate name: the “Campfire Graham Cracker Sandwich.”
Even then, the authors of the recipe noted that the toasty treats were already “especially” enjoyed by Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. But the latter began calling them by a different name by 1925, as evidenced articles published by newspapers in Alabama, Connecticut and Tennessee, all of which reported on Girl Scout leaders who sampled the sweet confections — dubbed “some-mores” — at various camp-based functions. (These occurrences may have been prompted by a recipe provided to troop leaders in a 1925 issue of Girl Scout Leader magazine, though the Girl Scouts of the USA does not maintain a copy of the issue.)
It wasn’t until 1927 that the Girl Scouts widely published its first official recipe for “Some Mores” (no hyphen) in the organization’s “Tramping and Trailing With the Girl Scouts” guidebook. The reason they were called “Some Mores” in the first place, however, has likely been lost to time.
The recipe itself only offered one clue: “Though it tastes like ‘some more’ one is really enough,” the passage concluded.
Despite being credited with popularizing the s’more and perhaps giving the treat its name, the Girl Scouts of the USA readily admit they are unclear on the origin of the s’more, or where the term “some more” first came from.
“We do not know if the Girl Scouts were the first to make and enjoy S’mores, but we also are not aware of any earlier claims to this special treat,” the organization added in a statement shared with Nexstar.
It’s also unclear when “some more” was shortened to “s’more,” though accounts from Colorado State University and Canada’s Museum of Northern History, among others, trace it back as far as 1938, when a recipe for “s’mores” was included in the “Recreational Programs for Summer Camps” guidebook by William Henry Gibson.
The shortened name — s’mores — ended up sticking around, much like the gluey marshmallowy gloop that sticks to one’s fingers after eating them. Even the Girl Scouts ditched the term “some mores” in the early 1970s, when the organization switched to using the abbreviated version in its publications.
The Girl Scouts and s’mores have stuck together ever since.
“The popular s’mores recipe is just one component of Girl Scouts’ longstanding commitment to the outdoors, which is a cornerstone of the organization that plays an important role in girls’ leadership development,” the organization wrote in 2016.