The graham cracker was developed in 1829 in Bound Brook, New Jersey,
by Presbyterian minister Rev. Sylvester Graham. Though called
a cracker, it is sweet rather than salty and so bears some
resemblance to a cookie - digestive biscuits are the closest
The true graham cracker is made with graham flour, a combination of
fine-ground white flour and coarse-ground wheat bran and germ.
Graham crackers are often used for making s'mores and pie crusts.
Graham crackers were originally marketed
as "Dr. Graham's Honey Biskets" and were conceived of as a health
food as part of the Graham Diet, a regimen to suppress what he
considered unhealthy carnal urges, the source of many maladies
according to Graham. Reverend Graham would often lecture about the
adverse effects of masturbation or "self-abuse" as it was commonly
One of his many theories was that one could curb one's sexual
appetite by eating bland foods. Another man who held this belief was
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, the inventor of the corn flakes cereal.
Many modern "graham crackers" are
made of the refined, bleached white flour to which the Rev. Graham
was implacably opposed. Some modern commercial graham crackers are
no longer considered health food, but have remained popular as a
snack food and breakfast cereal with greater amounts of sugar and
other sweeteners than in the original recipe, and far less graham
flour, often with no whole-wheat flour whatsoever.
Cinnamon or chocolate may be added to enhance the flavor of the
crackers. Technically, crackers are not really graham crackers
unless they are made with graham flour, which is a hard whole-wheat
flour in which the constituent bran, germ, and endosperm have been
ground separately, the first two coarsely and the third finely.
Cinnamon, not considered a true ingredient of graham crackers, was
added for those who did not enjoy the bland taste of graham
A graham cracker crust is a style of pie
crust made from crushed whole-wheat crackers made from Graham flour,
usually flavored and stiffened with butter or vegetable oil.
It is the most common crust for cheesecakes. It is
increasingly popular for use as a cream pie crust and is imitated by
the Oreo-style crusts made from crushed black-cocoa cookies.