Everything you ever wanted to know about Fluff In this Sept. 27, 2013, file photo, containers are filled with Marshmallow Fluff and move along an assembly line during production in Lynn, Mass. The marshmallow concoction that's been smeared on a century's worth of sandwiches has inspired a festival and other sticky remembrances as it turns 100 in 2017. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
Everything you ever wanted to know about Fluff
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Fluff turns 100 this year, and the marshmallow concoction that has been smeared on a century's worth of schoolchildren's sandwiches has inspired a festival and other sticky remembrances.
 
Every year, between 5 million and 7 million pounds of the sticky cream invented in suburban Boston in 1917 is produced and sold worldwide, although half the supply is bought up by New Englanders and people in upstate New York.
 
It came of age in the 1960s, when generations of schoolchildren started clamoring for "Fluffernutter" sandwiches - still made by slathering peanut butter and Fluff between two slices of white bread.
 
Over the past decade, fans of Fluff have been staging an annual "What the Fluff?" festival in Somerville, Massachusetts, where the American lunchbox icon was born.
 
Here is a fluffy look at its history:
 
In 1917, Montreal-born confectioner Archibald Query crafted the original recipe.
 
Query is said to have whipped up the first batches in his own kitchen in Somerville before selling it door to door. Following World War I, there was a sugar shortage in the U.S., so Query sold the recipe for $500 to two war veterans, H. Allen Durkee and Fred L. Mower.
 
The recipe has stayed with Durkee Mower Inc. ever since. It's the only product the family-owned company makes.
 
In 1920, Durkee and Mower began producing and selling Fluff, which they first named Toot Sweet Marshmallow Fluff. The company moved to a factory in East Lynn, Massachusetts, in 1929.
 
The original recipe hasn't changed: corn syrup, sugar syrup, dried egg whites and vanillin. And the jar's packaging is only slightly different, according to Mimi Graney, author of a forthcoming book, "Fluff: The Sticky Sweet Story of an American Icon."
 
Fluff lovers "associate it with their own childhood and image of home," Graney says. There are competing products sold by Kraft, Solo Foods and others.
 
The 12th annual "What the Fluff?" Festival will be staged in September. It was started as a way to rejuvenate Somerville's now-trendy Union Square neighborhood. The festival draws about 10,000 people. They gather for activities including cooking and eating contests, Fluff jousting, Fluff blowing, a game called Blind Man Fluff and concerts.
 
Somerville residents tend to have a soft spot for Fluff.
 
"It totally takes me back to my childhood," said Amy Hensen, a 43-year-old Somervillian.
 
Mayor Joseph Curtatone likens the product to his community's eclectic vibe.
 
"It's original, creative, and a little bit funky but that's why we love it," he said.
 
U.S. astronaut Sunita Williams, who spent 322 days in space on two missions to the International Space Station, made Fluffernutter sandwiches on board.  Williams attended high school in Needham, Massachusetts, so Fluff was a comfort food.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why is Fluff connected to childhood?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (96)
  • piersonw-cel
    2/10/2017 - 10:27 a.m.

    Because of the type of product it is and the activities that are associated with it.

  • johnn1-mac
    2/10/2017 - 11:56 a.m.

    Associate it with their own childhood and image of home. Also its what kids love and like to eat fluff because its delicous.And kids like to eat when they are hungry.

  • zakrym-ste
    2/10/2017 - 01:38 p.m.

    Fluff is a gooey spread of marshmallow. I think it is kinda gross. It was interesting to read about the history of it.

  • vaneises-
    2/13/2017 - 08:44 a.m.

    Fluff is connected to childhood because it started to become popular in the 1960's, when generations of schoolchildren started clamoring for "Fluffernutter" sandwiches made by slathering peanut butter and Fluff between two slices of white bread.Many adults today were children at that time and most likely ate fluffernutter sandwiches and that is why they connect it to childhood.

  • irisp-ste
    2/13/2017 - 09:20 a.m.

    Growing up, I always thought of Marshmallow fluff as some glorious treasure my mom would never allow me to buy. At the store, I would beg to buy this sticky goo to use it on sandwiches and finally get to eat it. Now, I have discovered that something I wanted to love is extremely disgusting.

  • abigailh-pla
    2/13/2017 - 12:05 p.m.

    This article explores the timeline of fluff and how the spread became so popular. It also analyzes the current uses and celebrations of fluff. Citizens are civically engaged as they attend the "What the fluff?" festival and connect with their community to celebrate the spread that has become a comfort food in states such as Massachusetts. Query, who first concocted the recipe, gave back to the community by selling his recipe to a company that could mass produce fluff in lieu of the sugar shortage after WWI. Surprisingly, fluff has made quite a big impact on the nation throughout history.

  • ksenyas1-pla
    2/13/2017 - 08:00 p.m.

    This is an article that is celebrating the marshmallow fluff that many people have enjoyed over the years for their 100 year anniversary.They use a historical lens when analyzing the highlights of the fluffs history, such as when they sold the recipe for the marshmallow fluff to World War II veterans for $500. This relates to civic engagement because this fluff has been a part of many peoples lives for generations. Moreover, this fluff also has a historical significance, for it has been one of the few products to remain in tact with exactly the same recipe for the entire century that it was around. As this article sufficiently entertained me, the writing could have been better since the author overused words such as "sticky" and "fluffy."

  • jacksona-pla
    2/14/2017 - 08:45 a.m.

    This year marks the 100th anniversary of Fluff. Fluff is a sticky substance that comes in a jar that tastes like marshmallow. People enjoy Fluff on sandwiches which sounds gross but isn't, apparently. This is of vital importance to civic engagement because it is a community issue. Fluff is the backbone of America.

  • jesusr-pel
    2/15/2017 - 08:54 a.m.

    i really found the story interested and a lot of children love sticky fluff and sweet

  • arturov-pel
    2/15/2017 - 09:18 a.m.

    Children like fluffy things.

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