The Hunt for Graham Crackers

Posted on 24.10.2013


1391929_627886723620_2036911386_nMore things added to the list of ‘can’t be found in England’… although I imagine that if I were to hit a dedicated store in London, I might be able to find graham crackers.

For any readers who are NOT Americans, graham crackers  are an American-invented cracker (biscuit if you’re from the UK) that is sweetened, often with honey or cinnamon and more for a dessert. Used specifically for the most amazing American campsite snack , s’mores, they have also made their way into breakfast cereal and other kinds of desserts.

My interest in them grew a bit over a few weeks, as most non-American cravings tend to do: come on quietly and then quickly escalates into madness once the realization hits that you can’t have this thing you want. Thankfully, this isn’t the case with hot dogs, which thankfully seem to be everywhere.

SONY DSCI started looking for them when I had the idea to have s’mores. So I scanned the grocery shelves for them on two separate shopping trips and came up empty-handed. Then I started to ask my UK friends if they knew about them, and got just about ALL negative responses. At that point, one of my friends mentioned he’d wanted to try s’mores and could I explain them… so then I really wanted to try to find them, and it became a group search in the shops. In England, there is just about an aisle and a half of cookies and crackers (biscuits) before you even get to the chips, all of which are more on the hearty or salty side. Think garlic and onion flavored. Or just plain or salted, since tea is a thing here.

It turns out that graham crackers AREN’T popular over in England, even if the idea of s’mores is. So to make that s’mores dream my friend had a reality, I ended up buying some crackers/cookies that were kind of like thin vanilla oreos mixed with ladyfingers/nilla wafers, as they were the sweetest things I could find that might help in the overall taste and experience of s’mores.

3444639377_55edd595bcMy next hurdle was the general lack of campfires or campfire situations with which to MAKE the s’mores, so I opted for the only other good thing I could think of: a s’mores dip recipe served on the night of the final episode of the Great British Bake Off, which I found appropriate. It wasn’t baking, necessarily, but it was dessert while watching a show that centers around desserts.

It went down rather well although I thought the recipe might not easily serve 5: it absolutely did, thank goodness, and there were leftovers to take home.  And the recipe literally took 5 minutes to make.

Excellent, minus the missing graham crackers! I’m always a bit shocked by the things that are ‘missing’ in other countries. Like measuring spoons and graham crackers. But hey, at least they have s’mores flavored pop tarts…

Posted in: Culture shocks, food, life