What the Fluff? Lunch box icon turn­ing 100

The Hamilton Spectator - - BUSINESS -

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.”

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