GOOD MORNING WORLD
My post today was going to reflect an incident that happened recently and be entitled ARROGANCE AND ATTITUDE OUT THE DOOR. Have you ever been in a conversation where someone interrupted you, took control of the conversation then told you in a patronizing smug attitude that they were not going to discuss the topic further? I was going to look into this from the stand point of sitting in my own home and being the recipient of all the aforementioned. When this did happen a bit ago, for once, I did not sit passively and accept the arrogance that was directed at me. I listened until I was allowed to speak and calmly said, ‘I think you better leave’. Going out the door I was informed they would not be back. The saddest thing was that my comment was going to be kind, a compliment and not what they had assumed at all. I am certain this self-centered individual thinks the problem was the topic they were focused upon instead of the real issue which was the delivery with the rudeness and condescension that I chose to have out of my home.
I was going to go into all of this, the psyche behind it, complete with information to back it up including the documented fact that words are only about 7% of our conversations the rest is all tone and attitude. THEN I discovered today is NATIONAL FLUFFERNUTTER DAY!!! I decided to leave the obnoxious to delve into the sweet!!!
Question of the day, ‘Do you know what a Fluffernutter is?’ Oh my Dears if you do not let me educate you. I shall begin at the very beginning. In a clear jar with a bright blue label and red top is the creamiest white sugar confection you have ever tasted. The best way for the real sugar high is to eat it right out of the jar with a spoon. It is a spread like peanut butter or jam. Here are some highlights and websites:
Marshmallow candy dates back to ancient Egypt where it was a honey-based candy flavored and thickened with the sap of the root of the Marsh-Mallow plant (althea officinalis). They mixed marsh mallow juice with honey to make a special candy that was reserved for the pharaohs and the gods. The Roman scholar Pliny believed that a daily drink of marsh mallow juice would prevent all diseases and also cure most illnesses. The problem was that it wasn’t very palatable.
Pharmacists in Paris, France extracted juice from the marsh mallow plant’s roots and cooked it with egg whites and sugar, then whipped the mixture into a foamy meringue that later hardened, creating a medicinal candy used to soothe children’s sore throats. People liked the new product and started eating it like candy.
By the late 19th century, confectioners had figured out how to mass-produce marshmallows, and they also figured out that they could replace the marshmallow juice with gelatin. By the turn of the century marshmallows were a popular dessert ingredient. To make frostings and sauces out of them, the cook had to make the marshmallow creme first, which was a two-step process — you made a sugar syrup, then you melted the marshmallows over a double boiler and combined them with the syrup.
1914-1940 – The Curtis Marshmallow Factory was established by brother and sister, Emma (1863-1948) and Amory Curtis. Their signature product for the first 10 years of operation was Snowflake Marshmallow Creme (later known as SMAC), the first commercially successful shelf-stable marshmallow cream. The Curtises didn’t invent marshmallow creme, but they popularized it for home use. Emma started out going door to door in Melrose, bringing samples of her marshmallow creme on crackers. Emma was constantly developing new recipes, and she field-tested them on the family and on the neighborhood kids. In one of her radio shows she said she “served them marshmallow as a dressing on desserts, marshmallows on their cereal for breakfast, marshmallows in their cocoa, marshmallows in their salad dressing, marshmallows in their cakes, and as a sauce for every conceivable kind of jelly and pudding.”
1913 -Some of the very first Snowflake Marshmallow Creme labels from 1913 suggested using the product in sandwiches, topped with chopped nuts or olives. In a recipe leaflet published in 1914 Emma mentioned peanut butter as an accompaniment, and she also suggested that triangular sandwiches of butter and marshmallow creme on thinly sliced brown bread as a dainty lunch for children. What this means is that the town of Melrose may very well be the birthplace of the what later came to be known as the Fluffernutter sandwich.
In 1915, the Curtises scored a publicity coup: Snowflake Marshmallow Creme was awarded a gold medal at the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. This would be prominently featured in their advertising for years to come.
Emma’s research resulted in a series of small recipe booklets that were sent to customers on request. In a booklet published in 1918, Emma introduced her version of the LibertySandwich. NOTE: hamburgers were also known as Liberty Sandwiches during World War I (1914-1918). Peanut butter and fluff sandwiches, cut into dainty shapes, made a virtue out of necessity.
1917 – Archibald Query of Somerville, MA invented a special formula which he called marshmallow crème. He began making it in his kitchen and selling it door to door, but wartime shortages had forced him to close down.
1920 – After the World War I was over, Archibald briefly formed a partnership with Durkee and Mower. Archibald sold his formula to H. Allen Durkee and Fred L. Mower for $500. They renamed their product “Toot Sweet Marshmallow Fluff.” The name was a play on a French phrase. With a barrel of sugar and a secondhand Ford, the pair began driving around looking for customers and selling door to door. They made their first sale of the sweet concoction in 1920, to a lodge in New Hampshire. By 1927, they were selling retail.
1930s – Durkee-Mower sponsored a weekly radio show in New England called the “Flufferetttes” for advertise their product. The fifteen minute show was aired on Sunday evenings just before the Jack Benny show. This show continued into the late 1940s.
When industrial sugar rationing ended in 1947 the company was preparing for another expansion. They started by redesigning the product’s package. A survey covering a wide sample of New England housewives told them that the experts, their customers, thought that the best jar for Fluff would be short enough to fit easily into the refrigerator to be used for leftovers (Fluff requires no refrigeration), and have a wide enough opening to fit a tablespoon into. In addition, the jar was made with a stippled surface above and below the label to make it stronger and more easily gripped. The jar’s longevity in a rapidly changing market is a tribute to its success; the same basic jar is still in use today.
That is the story of a staple of my childhood. I am heartened to discover for myself that it is medicinal. I am a self-admitted Fluff junkie. I put it on anything to get the sweet flavor. The best was on ice cream. We did not have soft ice cream store marshmallow sauce in jars then unlike today. I liked marshmallow sauce on ice cream so substituted Fluff. It would chill and be almost like candy on the top.
The most famous use of Marshmallow Fluff is a sandwich called a ‘Fluffernutter’. It is two pieces of bread with Marshmallow Fluff spread on one and peanut butter spread on the other and put the cream and butter together for a ‘Fluffernutter.’ It was advertised with the jingle below.
Oh you need fluff, fluff, fluff
To make a fluffernutter
And lots of peanut butter.
First you spread, spread, spread
Your bread with peanut butter
And marshmallow fluff
And have a fluffernutter.
When you enjoy, enjoy, enjoy
Your fluff and peanut butter
You’re glad you have enough for another fluffernutter.
I do not know a kid my age – even our children’s age – who did not know the tune and words to this song.
I have to admit I took Fluff for granted. I thought Fluff was everywhere. Oh Contraire!
I had a rude awakening when we moved from Maine to North Carolina and no one knew what Marshmallow Fluff was. I would ask at the various stores and they would show me various marshmallow crèmes. It is NOT the same. It was then that I discovered it was made in Massachusetts and that all products were not carried all over the country. I would buy it when we visited family and bring it back. It can now be found in many places and even ordered on the web – see below!
Business continues to expand with the recent growth of our young school-aged population wishing to enjoy Fluff the same way their parents and grandparents did before them. Additionally, Fluff is now enjoyed in Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Holland, Israel, south Africa, Belgium, and the UAE. Although Fluff enjoys wide distribution in the United States, there are still a few places where we are not located. If you happen to live in such a place, or cannot find Fluff locally, it may be ordered directly from our factory using the Order Form located in this site.
My favorite Fluff story is our 25th Wedding Anniversary Party. We were in North Carolina and of course invited all of our family from Maine to New York to Ohio and beyond and most were not able to attend. It was going to be a wonderful day with our friends and neighbors. About noon on the day of the event a car came in our driveway that looked like and was my sister and her husband driving down from Maine. I believe I screamed all the way down the stairs in excitement as I was so glad they surprised us. Their gift, besides themselves, was one that was ever wanted and would not be forgotten – a case of Marshmallow Fluff!
……ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…
2006 – State Senator, Jarrett Barrios, outraged that his son Nathaniel, a third-grader, was given a Fluffernutter sandwich at his grade school in Cambridge, said he planned to file legislation that would ban schools from offering the local delicacy more than once a week as the main meal of the day. He was quoted as saying:
“As a parent, if I want my kid to eat healthy, he shouldn’t be able to go to school and get fluff or fluffernutters every day for school. We have the highest childhood obesity rate of any industrialized country in the world. We have the highest or the next to highest early-onset type-one diabetes.”
Senator Barrios’ bill was an amendment to a larger bill cracking down on junk food in schools. The move touched off a marshmallow war in the State House, when legislators jumped to defend Fluffernutters. What Senator Barrios did not realize, was how much of a New England icon the sweet marshmallow spread slathered over white bread and twinned with peanut butter was. The bill to ban it drew legions of protective Fluffernutter patriots to arms. State Representative, Kathi-Anne Reinstein, said she would file legislation that would make the Fluffernutter the official sandwich of Massachusetts. Reinstein says she wants to preserve the local legacy, which is simply Marshmallow Fluff and peanut butter together between two slices of bread.
After the fight consumed the Massachusetts legislature for a week, Mr. Barrios said he planned to drop his proposal. All the talk about making the Flutternutter Sandwich the official state sandwich was also dropped.
Because of the debate over the bill, the town of Somerville, MA held it first annual tribute to Archibald Query and Marshmallow Fluff. in 2006, Somerville, MA. The festival was dubbed “What the Fluff.”