Who Invented Graham Crackers


It would stand to figure that the inventor of Graham crackers would have the cracker named after him or her. That is absolutely true because these crackers were first made by a Presbyterian minister named Sylvester Graham in 1829. The original cracker was made with graham flour as well, mixed with wheat flour and wheat germ and bran to add flavor and texture. In their early days, they were even known as a cookie more than just a cracker.

Sylvester Graham was born in 1794 and is famous for his vision of reforming the diets of Americans. His inventions reflect the desire to emphasize the vegetarian lifestyle while still providing good nutritional opportunities for others. He was the 17th child in his family, studied at Amherst, but never graduated. He did, however, have a few other inventions to his credit.

1. Graham Flour

In order to create graham crackers, he first had to create graham flour. This flour is a type of whole wheat flour where the different components of the wheat kernel are milled separately instead of together. Once all three of the components, the endosperm, germ, and bran are completely milled, then the three different flours are combined once again to create the flour. It is unbleached and not treated with chemicals, but still has a good shelf life.

2. Graham Bread

Like graham crackers, the bread that was made from Sylvester Graham’s new flour was first invented in 1829 as well. He made this bread to help him with his vegetarian diet because it was high in fiber, free of additives, and wouldn’t deplete his body. Of course Graham believed that the chemicals in bread were responsible for enhancing the sex drive of people and that’s why he avoided it, but the health benefits of the bread are still known today and this bread can regularly be found in health food store around the world.

3. The Temperance Movement

If there’s one thing that has always defined Americans, it is their desire to do everything large. What Graham sought to do was encourage personal moderation in the choices that were being made. Although the Temperance Movement was initially founded to stop excessive alcoholism, Graham took the concept to how people would eat as well. He stressed a minimal animal protein diet and led by example by being a very strict vegetarian. His main goal was to get Americans to realize that what they were feeling was lust.

4. The Graham Diet

Graham would often speak about sexual relations quite bluntly. He was even known to cause women to faint during his lectures. The goal was to encourage sexual abstinence and his diet was a reflection of this belief. Graham believed that dairy products and meat would make people become frisky, so his diet excluded all meat and spices, focusing on vegetables, fruits, whole wheat, and high fiber foods. If milk, cheese, or eggs were “extremely” fresh, then they were allowed in moderation. Why? Because the food hadn’t had time to develop the qualities, this would lead someone to impure thoughts.

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