One of the best things about hanging around a fire on a family camping trip is roasting s’mores.

Actually, roasting s’mores is great, but eating them is infinitely better. Eating s’mores might be the best part of life.

For the record, this is what I mean when I say “s’more:”

A real s’more is a very simple thing with just three ingredients:

  • Hershey bar (straight up).
  • Basic marshmallow (jet puffed is best).
  • Plain graham cracker.

“… in all the things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

You make a s’more by shoving a marshmallow on a stick, then holding the stick over a fire until the marshmallow toasts or bursts into gooey flames. (That part is a matter of taste, though people’s preferences in toasted marshmallows probably reveals something about their psychology. For the record, I like mine burnt.)

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Here’s what a s’more isn’t:

  • Spelled “smore”
  • Made in a microwave.
  • Made with any ingredient not listed above.
  • Something that comes pre-packaged in a box.
  • A brand of cereal.
  • Fried.

There’s a movement underway in America to overcomplicate s’mores, just as we overcomplicate most everything else. The elements that define society – our tax code, our medical system, now even our recipe for s’mores  – are getting out of control.

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucious (supposedly)

It’s difficult to say if this movement to ruin s’mores was started by the people, or by fancypants food bloggers. Either way – it’s time to lay this thing to rest.

A s’more isn’t made with Nutella, or marshmallow Fluff, or chocolate covered graham crackers, or premium dark chocolate, or strawberries, or dulce de leche. Don’t get me wrong: all of these additions sound absolutely delicious. But a s’more they do not make.

NOT A S'MORE!
(NOT A S’MORE)

Anyone can make something more complicated, more complex, and (I admit) more delicious. But it takes a person of taste and understanding to appreciate a thing for what it is.

The crunchy-gooey, fire-toasted delicious sweetness of a real s’more is only one of its joys. Its other joys are simplicity, tradition, and essence.

Of all the controversial subjects we’ve written about at Parent Co, this might just be the most divisive. We will probably lose newsletter subscribers, Facebook fans, and Twitter connections.

It’s worth it. This is the good fight. Our kids deserve real, unfettered, classic s’mores.

“Simplicity is the essence of happiness.” – Cedric Bledsoe