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Your Thoughts: Burger Toppings, Yogurt, S’mores

Posted on Apr 27, 2010

We're researching for future shows and need your wise input. Upcoming topics include burger toppings, yogurt and s'mores. Please share ideas and opinions about any and all of these topics in the comments. Keep nothing delicious to yourself - fellow Sporkful fans are counting on you to enlighten them and us. /mg

Photo: Flickr CC / dags1974

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Kieran says:

For yogurt: i lived in turkey for 2.5 years and they had something called suzme yogurt which was really just strained greek yogurt, but i found that if you mixed it with a little light yogurt and some powdered sugar and vanilla extract (a very little) it makes one of the best snacks that is overall fillingFor smores i find that when roasting the marshmallow to put the piece of chocolate in the marshmallow before its even on a skewer of whatever that it melts inside the marshmallow and tastes hundreds of times betterand on burgers it really depends on the time of year in summer i go for more refreshing flavors and more salad types but during winter the chile and such is unbeatable, although i must say slightly grilled onion slices are undoubtedly the best thing all year roung.

Donna says:

If anyone can top my smores I really want to hear about it because even tho I believe I have had the peak smore experience I am always open to climbing new pinnacles of the pallet. So here's the deal: many years ago I was doing the family and friends day at the beach thing at a local park on the Puget Sound that has those cooking pit things that are set on a post and have a metal plate on half, like a griddle and bars on the other for when you want the flames to touch your food. By the time we finished the main meal the coals were really low -- just right for slow roasting the marshmallows to make them smooth and melty all the way through. Since the picnic table was so far away from the cooking area it was just a natural thing to stage the gram crackers, topped with the standard Hershey's bar sections, on the warm metal grill as we roasted the marshmallows to a deep golden hue. The result was a warm extra crispy cracker, completely melted chocolate and smooth marshmallow that mixed perfectly as it bulged out the sides with the first bite -- just long enough to be tilted and caught by my expert smore eating family. Years later we had a camping trip dedicated to examining the minutia of smores and came up with a really yummy variation. One of my friends had brought along a huge -- like 20 lbs or something, bag of salted peanuts in the shell for fireside snacking. All weekend there was a pot of peanuts staying warm by the fire. Peanuts were being eaten at every meal and and it wasn't long before I added them to my smore. Yum! But you have to do it right or it doesn't work. Start by putting your graham crackers to warm on an upturned heavy iron frying pan that you have arranged over low coals off to the side -- get a small handful of peanuts pealed and when your marshmallow is how you like it embed the peanuts into the marshmallow before you pull it off onto the cracker. I'm sure you are thinking -- why not just put the peanuts on the marshmallow after it is off the roasting stick. It just doesn't work if you don't use the soft marshmallow to glue the peanuts down. I prefer to skip the chocolate and go for the fluffernutter flavor but some like the chocolate. To each his own right? We also tried smores with Kraft caramels and though certainly yummy it took a long time to get the caramel soft and then shove it into a marshmallow so I soon lost interest.

Donna says:

If anyone can top my smores I really want to hear about it because even though I believe I have had the peak smore experience I am always open to climbing new pinnacles of the pallet. So here's the deal: many years ago I was doing the family and friends day at the beach thing at a local park on the Puget Sound that has those cooking pit things that are set on a post and have a metal plate on half, like a griddle and bars on the other for when you want the flames to touch your food. By the time we finished the main meal the coals were really low -- just right for slow roasting the marshmallows to make them smooth and melty all the way through. Since the picnic table was so far away from the cooking area it was just a natural thing to stage the gram crackers, topped with the standard Hershey's bar sections, on the warm metal grill as we roasted the marshmallows to a deep golden hue. The result was a warm extra crispy cracker, completely melted chocolate and smooth marshmallow that mixed perfectly as it bulged out the sides with the first bite -- just long enough to be tilted and caught by my expert smore eating family. Years later we had a camping trip dedicated to examining the minutia of smores and came up with a really yummy variation. One of my friends had brought along a huge -- like 20 lbs or something, bag of salted peanuts in the shell for fireside snacking. All weekend there was a pot of peanuts staying warm by the fire. Peanuts were being eaten at every meal and it wasn't long before I added them to my smore. Yum! But you have to do it right or it doesn't work. Start by putting your graham crackers to warm on an upturned heavy iron frying pan that you have arranged over low coals off to the side -- get a small handful of peanuts pealed and when your marshmallow is how you like it embed the peanuts into the marshmallow before you pull it off onto the cracker. I'm sure you are thinking -- why not just put the peanuts on the marshmallow after it is off the roasting stick. It just doesn't work if you don't use the soft marshmallow to glue the peanuts down. I prefer to skip the chocolate and go for the fluffernutter flavor but some like the chocolate. To each his own right? We also tried smores with Kraft caramels and though certainly yummy it took a long time to get the caramel soft and then shove it into a marshmallow so I soon lost interest.

Sofie says:

Ok...there's way too much concern about "messy". Try to keep the "OCD" focused on the food. Any really good thick, juicy, crusty, but rare bacon burger with a thick slice of high quality cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomato, topped by homemade russian dressing (Hellman's, DILL relish, Heinz catchup, coarse salt and fresh pepper) and a thin layer on the opposite side of dijon mustard on a Thomas' english muffin is one of the greatest meals in the world and it should be MESSY. Yes... I said english muffin. If you assemble the ingredients and don't wolf it down immediately, you allow the flavors to meld and the english muffin to get soggy and saturated with the flavor of the grilled burger, etc. After consuming you should have to wash your hands up to your elbows! Also...here's a diet trick for the weight conscious. Assemble burger as above; wait 10 minutes; remove burger; eat remains with all the flavor and no meat...very satisfying...honestly!Great show, but I can't listen late at night anymore. I get too hungry

David Wiley says:

The only kind of yogurt for me is called Caspian Sea yogurt. It can be bought, but it is easy to make. The culture works at room temperature. The result is smooth, almost creamy, with less tang than typical yogurt. My preferred topping is granola especially fruit-flavored granola. I eat this every other day for breakfast alternating with steel cut oats.

April says:

Oops... "too big" not "two big". Should not post when tired.

April says:

Love the show.Burgers- I like thinly sliced, breaded, fried onions (onion rings are two big and I don't like the texture of the onion when it's that size) with BBQ sauce. This is often served with bacon, but I'm getting a bit tired of bacon in everything (yeah, I said it).Also, a cheeseburger with green chile sauce is pretty yum.Yogurt- I like to mix plain yogurt with raw oats, nuts, fruit, and honey. That's when it becomes a meal, well, a breakfast meal. I also like tzadziki, but it's more of a condiment to me.S'mores- I prefer the marshmallows to be fully melted inside with a bubbled brown exterior, providing a nice mix of crunch and gooey. It takes a lot of patience to delicately brown a marshmallow, but the end result is well worth the wait. Burning the marshmallow, although fun for impatient kids, creates an unpleasant chalkiness from the char. A little char can provide a little grilled flavor, but no need to let the whole marshmallow go up in flames. I prefer the chocolate to be a little melted, too, however, I've had little success of achieving this while camping. It helps to keep the chocolate at room temperature and not in the cooler. There is a risk of too much meltage if it's a hot day... Also, fresh graham crackers are important... if they're stale, it's a waste.

David Wiley says:

The only kind of yogurt for me is called Caspian Sea yogurt. It can be bought, but it is easy to make. The culture works at room temperature. The result is smooth, almost creamy, with less tang than typical yogurt. My preferred topping is granola especially fruit-flavored granola. I eat this every other day for breakfast alternating with steel cut oats.

jen says:

Yogurt: I only ever eat vanilla yogurt. If I want fruit in it I'll add it myself...I've never found a pre-made fruit yogurt that tastes natural.S'mores: A great treat, but probably something I'd get sick of if I had them more than once or twice a year. Someone said that the marshmallow doesn't melt the chocolate properly and I'd disagree...i think if you take your time and roast a marshmallow well, it's warm enough to melt a small square of chocolate JUST enough to be a perfect s'more. In my opinion, if the chocolate is still almost hard and cool in the middle but warm and melty on the outside, the s'more is way better than it ever would be with completely melted chocolate.Burger toppings: I find that depending where the burger is from, I put entirely different toppings. For instance, I hate pickles, tomatoes and onions on fast food burgers, but they are the first three ingredients I reach for when I make a burger at home. I don't think I could pick one topping that I consistently use on burgers. It depends on the quality of the burger, the time of year, how hungry I am, and other completely ridiculous factors.

Adam says:

Burger toppings: homemade tapenade; pickled peppers (from Burgerville); crisp pepper baconS'mores: Don't burn the damned things! Light brown is what we're going for. And if you're using a skewer of some sort (because you're indoors and not by a camp fire), preheat it for extra gooeyness inside.Yogurt: Don't buy it unless there's a cream top. And I've recently discovered my folly in mixing said cream top into the Yogurt before eating. The cream deserves to be eaten separately, though not all at once.

Anonymous says:

Burger Toppings: peanut butter.Yogurt: Peach and anything Citrus... Orange, Lime or Lemon, absolutely NO banana derivatives.S'mores: Cinnamon grahams, marshmallow fluff and hershey's (squares or chocolate chips)

Cindi says:

For ease and large camping groups, you can make a s'more with just fudge stripe cookies and roasted marshmallows. Marshmallows must NOT be burned but should be nice and brown all around. Place the chocolate squares near the fire on the cracker to get the melting started. 1 marshmallow, 3 squares of Hersheys bar makes the right ratio for me. Coconut Yogurt is very good if you haven't tried it. The pepperming patty s'mores sound great.

Kevin West says:

Burger Topping:I'd seen it at Red Robin, but hadn't tried it for myself. Now, after having experienced it, I will consider any other burger incomplete without GRILLED PINEAPPLE. I simply added a few grounds of black pepper to this tropical mana and tossed the thick slices on the grill while the burgers were finishing up. The standard players were already present: lettuce, tomato, ketchup, and mayo (more to prevent the bun from getting soggy than anything else). I added some bacon, and the salty & sweet combination was wonderful. The juicy yet firm texture of the pineapple was a nice addition as well. Hawaiian Sweet Onion Potato Chips (sorry, Dan!) made for an excellent side. Aloha!

Schaller says:

The best burger I ever had was a delicious, medium-rare half-pound patty at a BBQ place—topped with a delicious brisket with some kind of BBQ sauce. There were other toppings, too, but when you top your meat with more meat, everything else is in the noise. This was at a strip mall near JHU's Applied Physics Lab in Maryland.

Michele says:

In the Mississippi Delta, burgers are often topped with coleslaw and chile (the finely-ground beef sort, like you see on Coney Island dogs). Took me a while to work up the courage, but they are awesome.As a recent transplant to the Delta, I greatly missed my Fage Greek yogurt, which was unavailable here. I started straining Plain Stoneyfield in cheesecloth overnight and now favor it over the Fage. The texture is almost like ricotta cheese, the flavor gets even more tart -- a great base for the single-note honeys I top it with -- and I use the leftover whey (protein!) in smoothies.As for s'mores, two words: Peppermint Patties.

taiyyaba says:

i will amend that the flavored greek yogurt at TJ's is good, b/c it's not over sweet and doesnt leave a fake sugar taste in your mouth.

taiyyaba says:

i very much dislike sugary-flavored yogurts. plain yogurt with fresh stuff (even if it's jam) is the way to go. also awesome is greek yogurt (even awesomer = making it at home by draining the liquid out of the normal stuff). most awesomest = my arab mother in law's tangy, thick homemade stuff. she mixes it with dried mint and cucumbers to eat with rice and meat.

Jonathan says:

The problem with s'mores made around a campfire is one of softening the chocolate, because the residual heat from the marshmallow doesn't do the trick. Melting it entirely, regardless of the setting, is a bad idea because it runs everywhere. Everyone likes licking melted chocolate, but unless the s'more is eaten over a plate too much chocolate is wasted. Around a campfire, who is eating s'mores over plates? Then, does one hold a chocolate bar-topped graham cracker in hand and wave it vaguely in the direction of the fire (assuming one can get one's hand near enough to warm the chocolate)? I suppose one could control the temperature fairly easily, but then how does one simultaneously roast the marshmallow? The two may necessitate standing at different differences from the fire. A two person operation would solve this problem, but it then invokes the hotly debated "slow roasting until golden and gooey" vs. "set the bastard on fire and blow it out" issue. And so I always end up with a warm marshmallow and cold chocolate. WAIT: roast marshmallow, assemble s'more, hold ENTIRE THING somewhere near the fire. Bah, it probably wouldn't work.

Em says:

One of the most intense and delicious burgers I've had is called the "Double Whammy". It's a double open-faced burger covered with chili and cheese. Since you can't pick it up and eat it, I'm not sure it counts as a hamburger, but it was good nonetheless.As far as s'mores go, I made a s'more casserole for a party and it was a hit. Also, my family goes camping frequently, and we found the easiest way for a campfire s'more is using chocolate covered graham cookies. You hit all the main flavor points, and the chocolate melts easier than using a Hershey bar.

Craig Sheppard says:

Somewhere I heard that Strawberry-Banana was the most popular yogurt flavor. All I have to say about that is, "YUCK!" It's neither strawberry, nor banana, but it is some altogether indistinguishable fruit flavor that always seems to have a wretched bananay aftertaste. Leave it on the shelf if you ask me.While your standard fruits make great yogurt, your strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc... some of the more interesting ones like key lime and lemon meringue are even better.What's the deal with Greek yogurt? It seems to be multiplying on my grocer's refrigerator shelves like tribbles.Burger toppings can be all over the map, but the classic lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle with ketchup, mustard, and mayo are primo. Yeah, that's 7 toppings for 1 burger, but it's not so much the topping-to-patty ratio as the synergy of the final product. Some may argue that's like a ground beef salad on a bun, but it just tastes like a cookout to me. I've never been a fan of all those sloppy toppings like chili or avacado. And going straight burger is like living in 1 dimension. How fun is that? You need to the snap of the lettuce and the tang of an onion to complement a juicy burger and round out the experience.One burger topping that will take you by surprise is pineapple. No, not on beef burgers, but on turkey burgers. Hey a turkey burger is a burger, so let's not neglect it. But a pineapple teriyaki turkey burger can really liven up a traditionally bland patty o'fowl.Chomp on!

Will says:

In the south, an old fashioned burger topping is Pimento cheese. However the stuff you can buy in the store won't do the trick. Gotta make it yourself.

Sporkboy says:

Burger toppings. I use grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, guacamole, brie and bacon. Sometimes I use some or all of these depending on my mood. On an interesting side note. I've been grinding up 6 ounces of stew meat to 2 ounces of bacon to increase the fat content. You get bacon in absolutely every bite and you don't have to worry as much about tainted ground beef.