What is a Flutternutter?
a Fluffernutter? It is not just a regular sandwich, but a Fluffernutter Sandwich!
It is a calorie-laden sandwich made with two slices of bread
layered with peanut butter and Marshmallow Fluff, and
sometimes along with the occasional banana.
People will eat their peanut butter on all types of sandwiches and
with all types of toppings. The most unique and unusual is
the Fluffernutter Sandwich of the New England area of the
United States. Generations of New Englanders fondly associate Marshmallow
Fluff with their childhood as it has been a childhood favorite for many
raised in the northeastern United States. The term fluffernutter is also be used to
describe other food items, primarily desserts, that have
both peanut butter and marshmallow creme.
sandwich is more than a beloved memory of childhood, it’s a
local tradition. As an traditional food of New England, it
goes right alongside the baked beans and clam chowder.
Marshmallow Fluff is a blend of corn syrup, sugar, dried egg
white, and vanilla flavoring. Learn how to make
Homemade Marshmallow Fluff/Cream.
The Flutternutter Song:
need fluff, fluff, fluff
To make a fluffernutter
And lots of peanut butter.
First you spread, spread, spread
Your bread with peanut butter
And marshmallow fluff
And have a fluffernutter.
When you enjoy, enjoy, enjoy
Your fluff and peanut butter
You're glad you have enough for another fluffernutter.
History of Marshmallow Creme/Fluff and Flutternutter Sandwich:
Marshmallow candy dates
back to ancient Egypt where it was a honey-based candy flavored and thickened with the sap of the root of the
Marsh-Mallow plant (althea officinalis). They mixed marsh mallow juice
with honey to make a special candy that was reserved for the pharaohs and the gods. The Roman scholar Pliny believed that
a daily drink of marsh mallow juice would prevent all diseases and also cure most illnesses. The problem was that it wasn’t
Pharmacists in Paris,
France extracted juice from the marsh mallow plant's roots
and cooked it with egg whites and sugar, then whipped the
mixture into a foamy meringue that later hardened, creating
a medicinal candy used to soothe children's sore throats. People liked the new product and started eating it like
By the late 19th century,
confectioners had figured out how to mass-produce
marshmallows, and they also figured out that they could
replace the marshmallow juice with gelatin. By the turn of
the century marshmallows were a popular dessert ingredient.
To make frostings and sauces out of them, the cook had to
make the marshmallow creme first, which was a two-step
process — you made a sugar syrup, then you melted the
marshmallows over a double boiler and combined them with the
In the early 20 century,
people believed any food could be improved by a white sauce. It was very much in fashion to
use white sauces to dress up all kinds of food. Marshmallow
frostings and sauces were popular dessert ingredients. Home
cooks made their own marshmallow creme, either by mixing up
the marshmallow ingredients from scratch or by melting down
store-bought marshmallows and combining them with a sugar syrup.
1910 - The Limpert
Brothers brought out a product called Marshmallow Fluff,
which was sold to soda fountains and ice cream parlors to
put on ice cream sundaes.
1913 - Whitman’s,
the people who make the Whitman’s Sampler, had a product
called Marshmallow Whip.
- The Curtis Marshmallow Factory was established by brother
and sister, Emma (1863-1948) and Amory Curtis. Their
signature product for the first 10 years of operation was
Snowflake Marshmallow Creme (later known as SMAC), the first
commercially successful shelf-stable marshmallow cream. The
Curtises didn’t invent marshmallow creme, but they
popularized it for home use. Emma started out going door to
door in Melrose, bringing samples of her marshmallow creme
Photo from the Melrose
Emma was constantly
developing new recipes, and she field-tested them on the
family and on the neighborhood kids. In one of her radio
shows she said she “served them marshmallow as a dressing on
desserts, marshmallows on their cereal for breakfast,
marshmallows in their cocoa, marshmallows in their salad
dressing, marshmallows in their cakes, and as a sauce for
every conceivable kind of jelly and pudding.”
1913 -Some of the
very first Snowflake Marshmallow Creme labels from 1913
suggested using the product in sandwiches, topped with
chopped nuts or olives. In a recipe leaflet published in
1914 Emma mentioned peanut butter as an accompaniment, and
she also suggested that triangular sandwiches of butter and
marshmallow creme on thinly sliced brown bread as a dainty
lunch for children. What this
means is that the town of Melrose may very well be the
birthplace of the what later came to be known as the
In 1915, the Curtises
scored a publicity coup: Snowflake Marshmallow Creme was
awarded a gold medal at the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition
in San Francisco. This would be prominently featured in
their advertising for years to come.
Emma’s research resulted in
a series of small recipe booklets that were sent to
customers on request. In a booklet published in 1918, Emma
introduced her version of the Liberty Sandwich. NOTE:
hamburgers were also known as Liberty Sandwiches during
World War I (1914-1918). Peanut butter and fluff sandwiches,
cut into dainty shapes, made a virtue out of necessity.
- Archibald Query of Somerville, MA invented a special
formula which he called marshmallow crème. He began making
it in his kitchen and selling it door to door, but wartime
shortages had forced him to close down.
1920 - After the
World War I was over, Archibald briefly formed a
partnership with Durkee and Mower. Archibald sold his
formula to H. Allen Durkee and Fred L. Mower for $500. They
renamed their product "Toot Sweet Marshmallow Fluff." The
name was a play on a French phrase. With a barrel of sugar
and a secondhand Ford, the pair began driving around looking
for customers and selling door to door. They made their
first sale of the sweet concoction in 1920, to a lodge in
New Hampshire. By 1927, they were selling retail.
1930s - Durkee-Mower
sponsored a weekly radio show in New England called the "Flufferetttes"
for advertise their product. The fifteen minute show was
aired on Sunday evenings just before the Jack Benny show.
This show continued into the late 1940s.
2006 - State Senator, Jarrett Barrios, outraged that his son Nathaniel, a
third-grader, was given a Fluffernutter sandwich at his grade school in Cambridge, said he planned to file
legislation that would ban schools from offering the local delicacy more than once a week as the main meal of the day.
He was quoted as saying:
parent, if I want my kid to eat healthy, he shouldn't be
able to go to school and get fluff or fluffernutters
every day for school. We have the highest childhood
obesity rate of any industrialized country in the world.
We have the highest or the next to highest early-onset
Senator Barrios' bill was
an amendment to a larger bill cracking down on junk food in
schools. The move touched off a marshmallow war in the State
House, when legislators jumped to defend Fluffernutters.
What Senator Barrios did not realize, was how much of a New
England icon the sweet marshmallow spread slathered over
white bread and twinned with peanut butter was. The bill to
ban it drew legions of protective Fluffernutter patriots to
arms. State Representative, Kathi-Anne Reinstein, said she
would file legislation that would make the Fluffernutter the
official sandwich of Massachusetts. Reinstein says she wants
to preserve the local legacy, which is simply Marshmallow
Fluff and peanut butter together between two slices of
After the fight consumed
the Massachusetts legislature for a week, Mr. Barrios said
he planned to drop his proposal. All the talk about making
the Flutternutter Sandwich the official state sandwich was
Because of the debate over
the bill, the town of Somerville, MA held it first annual
tribute to Archibald Query and Marshmallow Fluff. in 2006,
Somerville, MA. The festival was dubbed "What the Fluff."
Flutternutter Sandwich Recipe:
This Flutternutter Sandwich recipe was shared to me by Mary
Wright Huber of Worcester, MA. Mary says: I was born in Worcester, MA and grew up in northern CT. I lived along the CT/MA border area until
I was 30, when I moved to Tucson, my current home. I certainly did not invent this sandwich. I believe the method is on the container, along
with a perennial favorite fudge. Because Fluff is a regional food, as I had my mother (now deceased) start to ship me Fluff shortly after my
relocation. She was so amazed in Arizona’s lack of Fluff, that she asked me,” What do the feed their children?”
Yields: 1 sandwich
Prep time: 5 min
2 slices soft white bread (like Wonder Bread)
Smooth peanut butter
Learn how to make
Homemade Marshmallow Fluff/Cream.
Spread one slice of bread with peanut butter.
Spread the other slice with Marshmallow
Close bread slices with the peanut butter the
Fluff sides touching.
Makes 1 sandwich.
Fluff? Smac? Marshmallows,
made in Melrose? Historical Society gets lowdown on Crystal
St. factory, by Bridid Alverson, The Melrose Mirror, Melrose
Silver Stringers, August 3, 2007.
Marshmallow Fluff website,