The sun was a fiery ball this morning as I had my morning cup of coffee.
It promises to warm up considerably today, and I’m glad of it. A few more days of clear air and warm sunshine suits me fine. My mornings of writing outside are numbered, I know, but I intend to take every advantage. There will be plenty of days ahead for working inside. However, enjoying the last vestiges of this summer doesn’t stop me from thinking about the upcoming holiday season and what I’ll be cooking and sending off in packages to those friends and family not living next door.
To that end, a few days ago I came across a site called “Box of Maine.”
Maine entrepreneur, Daniel Finnemore, was doing a live video on Facebook. He was promoting a contest to win a five-pound bucket of Fluff. Five pounds?! I decided to stop and take a closer look. I’m pretty sure we all have a secret food group we imbibe in from time to time. For me, that food group would be Marshmallow Fluff.
Marshmallow Fluff is indigenous to New England. I tend to forget this as it generally sits in my cupboard as a regular staple so I guess I think everyone has it in their cupboard. Never assume, right?
“Marshmallow Crème,” in spite of what you read on the internet, is not “Fluff.”
In about 1913, before the birth of Fluff, there was a concoction called Marshmallow Snowflake Crème sold in Boston by Amory and Emma Curtis. They didn’t invent it. That credit goes to French pharmacists who created a solution for sore throats from the herb, marshmallow. In case you’re wondering where marshmallow got its name that would be from the plant growing in marshy areas in Europe and West Asia.
Marshmallow Fluff is its own unique self.
Last year, the ooey-gooey, fluffy concoction turned a century year old. In 1917, Marshmallow Fluff got its beginnings when entrepreneur, Archibald Query sold it door-to-door in Somerville, Massachusetts. He soon sold the recipe to Durkee-Mower, who advertised the product on the radio version of “The Ed Sullivan Show” which thereby, catapulted it to Massachusetts household fame.
It was the invention of the American fluffernutter that cemented the fluffy confection in food history. During World War l era, Emma Curtis used marshmallow crème and peanut butter between two slices of white bread and called it a “Liberty Sandwich.” However, it was Fluff marketing the sandwich as a “fluffernutter” in 1960 that made the combination infamous.
Here’s another sweet piece of fluffernutter history. In 2006, Massachusetts state senator Jarrett Barrios proposed a bill that would prohibit fluffernutters from being served more than once a week in school lunch programs. Gasp! After a week of heated debate, the bill was withdrawn and in its place was a bill declaring the fluffernutter as the state sandwich. It’s always good to note when the government makes wise decisions in serving the needs of the citizenry. In spite of the fact increased awareness of good nutrition has caused some people to shun the fluffernutter, it’s actually fewer sugar calories than the typical peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Besides, it’s comfort food. Who can argue against comfort food? For a bite of sweet cuisine, try one!
On September 22nd, (rain date 9/23) there is the Fluff Festival in Union Square, Somerville, MA. The festival sports the expected fare of cooking contests, games, other activities, music, and fluffy treats. This year’s theme is “Fluff the 13th”. As the festival is one reason why Somerville has been declared a travel destination, I’ll mark this one on my calendar.
By now, you must be singing the fluffernutter jingle, “If you like fluff, fluff, fluff…”
Besides the fluffernutter, the other top two uses for fluff are for making holiday, gift-giving fudge, and as I learned from Daniel Finnemore, as a filling for Maine whoopie pies. Daniel’s business, Box of Maine, seems like an ideal solution for my holiday gift giving. Daniel began the business in 2017 from the makings of a friend’s hobby. He packages Maine products and ships them to customers all over the world, including soldiers overseas. His website, boxofmaine.com, gives the opportunity to choose from over 30 different food products and even soaps, candles, and pine needle filled pillows. A few of my favorites are fluff, of course, as well as Raye’s mustard; maple syrup; and Maine blueberries. He even has Moxie and Jordan’s red hot dogs! Daniel says people tell him the packages bring back childhood memories. I’ll buy that!
Before you leave, I have a fluffernutter making pro-tip. Before spreading fluff on either slice of bread for your sandwich, spread a coating of peanut butter on each slice. Then add the fluff. If you don’t, the fluff is sure to shred your bread.
What memories do you have of fluffernutters? We would love to have you share them. If you don’t have any, maybe it’s time to make some! Yum!