Why Mainers Should Celebrate National Fluffernutter Day
National Fluffernutter Day, celebrated on October 8th, introduces a delightful and unique culinary combination. Some food holidays hold a special place in our hearts more than others.
In Maine, the fluffernutter is already a well-known delight, but do you know its origins? If you're not from New England, chances are you might not be acquainted with this sweet and gooey sandwich sensation. The fluffernutter, also known as a 'peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich,' 'peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich,' or a 'peanut butter and marshmallow stuff sandwich,' is a beloved classic in our region with a history as delightful as its taste.
In the late 19th century, various recipes for "marshmallow paste" were circulating, resulting in solid marshmallow-based foods. The earliest documented mention of marshmallow creme in an American cookbook dates back to 1896. Around the turn of the 20th century, Archibald Query, a resident of Somerville, Massachusetts, began selling his own version of marshmallow creme by going door-to-door.
Soon after, Query sold his recipe to two individuals in Lynn, Massachusetts, named H. Allen Durkee and Fred Mower. In 1917, the product hit store shelves in cans under the name Toot Sweet Marshmallow Fluff. However, it wasn't until the 1940s, when the packaging switched to a glass jar, that the name was simplified to just Marshmallow Fluff, as the first two words were dropped.
During World War I, a woman named Emma Curtis published a recipe that consisted of peanut butter and marshmallow creme spread on oat or barley bread. This recipe, sent as part of a promotional booklet to Curtis' customers in 1918, might be considered the earliest predecessor of the sandwich. Although people continued to enjoy the combination of peanut butter and marshmallow creme, it wasn't until 1960 that the sandwich was officially given the catchy moniker "fluffernutter."
The credit for popularizing the term goes to an advertising firm hired by Durkee-Mower, who were tasked with finding a more effective way to market the unique sandwich. And so, the word "fluffernutter" was born, capturing the essence of the sandwich's fluffy and nutty components.
Fast forward to 2021, and the fluffernutter has become so iconic that it found its way into the dictionary. Merriam-Webster officially added the word "fluffernutter," acknowledging its cultural significance and widespread recognition.
There you have it! The fluffernutter sandwich, with its delectable combination of peanut butter and Marshmallow Fluff, has a history as rich as its taste.
Happy National Fluffernutter Day!
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