A Tribute to National Fluffernutter Day: A Brief History

A Fluffernutter is, by definition, a sandwich made with peanut butter and marshmallow creme usually served on white bread. Variations of the sandwich include the substitution of wheat bread and the addition of various sweet, salty and savory ingredients – like banana, nutella, etc. The term fluffernutter can also be used to describe other food items, primarily desserts, that incorporate the combination of peanut butter and marshmallow creme.

In honor of October 8 being National Fluffernutter Day (another holiday made possible by the good people who create the National Holiday Calendars), we’ve done some extensive research on all things Fluffernutter – how it came about, where it’s from (its origins are actually rather detailed and date back to the first World War), and the perfect spinoff recipe to provide a little variation on the tradition.

A Brief History…

The origins of the Fluffernutter are (surprisingly) complicated and date all the way back to World War I. A man named Archibald Query invented a creation he called Marshmallow Creme in Somerville, Massachussets in 1917; around the same time, Emma Curtis published a recipe for the Liberty Sandwich, which consisted of peanut butter and Snowflake Marshmallow Creme on oat or barley bread. The recipe was published in a promotional booklet sent to Curtis’ customers in 1918, which is thought to be the origin of the sandwich.

fluffernutterMeanwhile, sugar shortages during World War I were hurting sales of Archibald Query’s Marshmallow Creme, so Query sold his recipe in 1920 to two men, H. Allen Durkee and Fred L. Mower, who began distributing the product through their company, Durkee-Mower Inc. The pair renamed the product Toot Sweet Marshmallow Fluff, and Durkee-Mower continues to sell the product under the name Marshmallow Fluff. The sandwich made with peanut butter and marshmallow creme continued to be eaten, but was not called a Fluffernutter until 1960, when an advertising firm Durkee-Mower hired created the term as a more effective way to market the sandwich. To this day, Fluffernutter is a registered trademark of Durkee-Mower.

Did You Know?

The sugary sweet combo is particularly popular in New England (an homage, perhaps, to its roots). There’s currently a bill on the docket that would designate the Fluffernutter as the official sandwich of the Commonwealth of Massachussetts.

The term fluffernutter has been used disparagingly to describe something that lacks substance and has minimal to no cultural value.

Somerville, Massachussetts holds an annual festival called What the Fluff? based around celebrating Marshmallow Fluff and Fluffernutter sandwiches. The festival incorporates music, visual art, games and a cooking contest based around Fluff and Fluffernutters. In 2011, NASA astronaut Richard Linnehan (who famously ate a Fluffernutter while aboard the International Space Station) acted as one of the contest judges.

The Grilled Banana Fluffernutter Sandwich

Concocting a traditional Fluffernutter is pretty simple – spread some peanut butter on one slice of bread and some marshmallow creme on the other – but there are a bunch of other spinoff recipes floating around the internet for this year’s holiday. We particularly liked this one…after all, what goes better with peanut butter than bananas?
source: http://www.neighborfoodblog.com

  • 2 slices of wheat bread
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons marshmallow creme or fluff
  • ½ banana, sliced
  1. Spread one side of each piece of bread with the butter. Spread the peanut butter onto the non-buttered sides of the bread, followed by the marshmallow fluff. Layer with sliced banana then close the sandwich.
  2. Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Place the sandwiches in the pan and grill until both sides are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per sides. Serve immediately with plenty of napkins (and maybe a fork!)


[images: huffingtonpost.com, thrill-of-the-hunt.com, laughingsquid.com, neighborfoodblog.com] [info source: wikipedia.com]

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Emily Ruchlewicz

Emily Ruchlewicz

News & Feature Writer at http://www.lajollabluebook.com/
Emily Ruchlewicz is a News and Feature writer at Blue Book Publishers and has written more than 100 La Jolla-related articles. Follow her blogs to stay informed about new businesses, read exclusive interviews with local business owners, and keep up with community events. (emily@lajollabluebook.com)

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