In addition to being the location of the raising of the first American flag, my neighborhood of Union Square also holds the honor of being the birthplace of Marshmallow Fluff, invented in 1917 by Somerville resident Archibald Query. Three years later Query sold the recipe to H. Allen Durkee and Fred L. Mower, and the Durkee-Mower company has been making Fluff in Lynn, Massachusetts ever since.
The gooey white stuff hasn’t changed much since then, as you can see from this video of the manufacturing process (apologies for the Boston Globe‘s overly intrusive “web media is killing us” frameset):
Last Friday, a state legislative committee held a hearing to consider designating the Fluffernutter the official sandwich of the State of Massachusetts. Representatives have weighed in on this issue before, either heartily supporting it, or blathering about “more important issues to deal with.” (As if anything in this state happens faster than a geological timeframe. It’s a miracle we were able to appoint an interim senator in only two weeks.)
The day after the hearing marked the Fourth Annual What the Fluff? Festival, celebrating the invention of Fluff by holding a big party in the area usually occupied by the Union Square Farmer’s Market. We managed to squeeze our way through the crowd and check out the activities.
Unfortunately, most of the fun had to be found at the edges of the festival. The majority of the crowd consisted of hipster doofuses (doofi?) milling about, waiting to buy a t-shirt emblazoned with this year’s festival logo (seen at the top of this post). Nothing, not even small children, would get in the way of their latest ironic acquisition. It brought to mind the popular townie slogan: “Welcome to Boston. Now go home.”
We wandered over to Hub Comics, where we scored the best find of the festival:
Find a copy if you can. The chapter on marshmallow harvesting techniques is worth the five bucks.