What the Fluff? Lunch box icon turning 100
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 five million and seven 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 clamouring for “Fluffernutter” sandwiches — 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, Mass., where the American lunch box icon was born
In 1917, Montreal-born confectioner Archibald Query crafted the original recipe in his Somerville home and sold it door to door. Following the First World War 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. since. It’s the only product the family-owned company makes.
The original recipe hasn’t changed: corn syrup, sugar syrup, dried egg whites and vanillin. And the jar’s packaging is only slightly different, says Mimi Graney, author of a forthcoming book, “Fluff: The Sticky Sweet Story of an American Icon.”