Specifically, the insatiable longing for a mesmerizing concoction known in the vernacular as S’mores. Maybe it’s an end-of-summer inevitability in the ol’ US of A. Something about the combination of sugar + sugar + more sugar, in the form of graham crackers, melting chocolate, and toasted marshmallows, has the enduring allure of drug addiction, with only slightly less dire consequences. Because: addiction. Sugar does that. But ohhhhh, what loveliness is in that particular combination. So even though it’s kind of a forbidden collation in the land of my personal innards, what with marshmallows, chocolate, and grain sugars being among the weapons of midriff destruction that defeat all of my long-term defenses most easily, I love at least fantasizing about the multitude of ways in which this deliciously wicked triumvirate can be combined.
The current nostalgia for the trio was triggered by an online vision of marshmallow beauty in the form of a toasted marshmallow milkshake. It poured over my brain in the lethally lovely way that such images do, the cascade instantly evoking what I imagine my own version of this summer moment would be, and that is a home-assembled frozen S’mores pie: one 48 oz carton Private Selection Chocolate Ganache Ice Cream (pause for dramatic effect—this stuff is miraculously, wildly creamy and fabulous), slightly softened and heaped into a graham cracker crust. For this part, I’d use gluten-free graham crackers and toasted sliced almonds, finely crushed together and mixed with melted brown butter and sugar to taste, and then pressed into a pie dish or tin and chilled before filling. When the crust has been filled and re-chilled and it’s time to indulge in dessert, take it out of the freezer, top it with a jar of marshmallow fluff or a small mountain of marshmallows, and use a kitchen torch to toast the topping. Try not to faint from the fabulousness.
Of course, there are an infinite number of other recombinant S’mores delicacies one really ought to attempt, if one has the taste for that tremendous triad. All that’s needed for the serious S’mores plotter is to think of the three characteristic tastes: toasted marshmallow, crispy graham or something equally nutty, and chocolate. Then, consider the myriad ways in which each, individually, can be enjoyed. Do the math—if the possible hybrids made by switching one or two of the variables each time don’t amount to enough to keep you fat and happy for the rest of your nine lives, you are no true aficionado, or at least a little bit neurasthenic in the region of your taste buds. The latter, of course, requires urgent care, and may be treated by dashing for your pantry and stuffing a graham cracker, a piece of chocolate, and a marshmallow directly into your mouth for resuscitation. If that doesn’t get you on an inspired sugar high leading to a thousand new S’mores recipes, then you had better start singing along with me immediately:
Most people live on a hungry island, Lost in the middle of a peckish sea.
Most people long for a food-filled island, One where they know they will eat for free.
Sugar High may call you, At dessert, any day,
In your heart, you’ll hear it call you: “A buffet…hip-hooray!”
Your own sweet-tooth hopes, Your own sweet-tooth dreams,
Dust o’er the hillside And shine in ice creams.
If you try, you’ll find that Shoo-fly pie needs sweet tea.
“Here am I, your candied island; Come to me, Come to me.”
Sweet and clear as can be: “Come to me, here am I, come to me.”
If you try, you’ll find that I’m a sweet honey bee.
I’m your hyperglycemic island Come to me, Come to me.”