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Graham Cracker

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 approximation. 

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.

History
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 called.

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.

Modern use
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 crackers.

Crust
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.

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