Marshmology: the art of making s’mores over an open fire

HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF marshmology? It is a term used at the Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe and refers to the art of making s’mores over an open fire, a longtime tradition. The first recorded version of the recipe can be found in the publication Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts of 1927.

In the Sierra, the Ritz Carlton at Northstar, West Shore Café & Inn on Lake Tahoe’s West Shore and others include complimentary s’mores as an après-ski activity for their guests. The West Shore Café’s fire pits in Homewood offer a stunning lakeside view.

For outdoor enthusiasts, the Tahoe Adventure Company’s guided snowshoe tours in the Lake Tahoe basin include a bonfire, complete with s’mores.

S’mores also are becoming a popular dessert at fine dining restaurants from coast to coast.

We recently visited New York City and ate a sublime s’mores dessert at Saxon + Parole. It arrived in a glass jar, sealed up tight. After unlocking the jar, whiskey barrel smoke started escaping from the lid, unveiling chocolate mousse, graham crackers, and toasted marshmallows. The whiskey barrel smoke left an aroma akin actually sitting by a campfire.

Closer to home in Sacramento, Cafeteria 15L features skillet s’mores, consisting of a Valrhona chocolate brownie, marshmallow, graham crackers and Hershey’s chocolate squares. “Marshmallows are layered over the chocolate brownie in a hot skillet and studded with the chocolate and graham crackers,” writes the blog Endless Rewrites. “The result is light, rich and satisfying.”

In Grass Valley, Emily’s Catering & Cakes offers a creative homemade s’mores dessert. It consists of a graham cracker crust, a chocolate truffle tart made with Callebaut bittersweet chocolate from Belgium and a vanilla bean marshmallow caramelized on top.

Emily’s also offers a s’mores kit with graham crackers, marshmallows and artisan chocolate squares for three s’mores. The “Venezuelan” chocolate (70 percent cacao) is handmade by Cello Chocolate of Nevada City. Cello is teaching a chocolate making class at Emily’s.

(S’mores at Emily’s Catering & Cakes; credit: John Arbaugh)

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