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Festival Announcement: What the Fluff?! A Festival to Celebrate a Massachusetts Invention

By Jillian Berry

“What the Fluff? — A Tribute to Union Square Invention”

Saturday, Sept. 30, 2006 (Rain date Oct. 1)

Union Square Plaza, Somerville

What the Fluff? Or more appropriately, what is Fluff? For any self-respecting school child in Massachusetts, this would be an easy question (in fact, there is a good possibility that he or she has it in their lunchbox). For most MIT students, though, Fluff is a complete mystery.

Fluff, or more accurately, marshmallow Fluff, is … well, marshmallow fluff. Best described as a marshmallow spread (imagine melting a bunch of marshmallows together to make one sticky mess), it can be used to make crispy rice squares, to top hot chocolate, or to make the famous fluffernutter. No, I did not just make up a word. A fluffernutter is a peanut butter and Fluff sandwich enjoyed by countless New England school children (including this author) who really prefer marshmallows to jelly.

Now before you go and say “EEEWWW,” please keep in mind that Fluff tastes much better than it sounds. I don’t really like marshmallows, but I also believe there are few sandwiches simpler or better than a Fluffernutter (especially made by my mom). In fact, a Massachusetts state senator recently proposed stopping school cafeterias around the state from serving Fluffernutters, or to limit the number served (to cut down on the amount of junk food), but had to drop the proposal because of resistance.

You may ask why I have suddenly decided to inform you about this sticky concoction. Well, the reason is simple. This Saturday, Sept. 30 from 3-7pm, there will be a fluff festival in Union Square in Somerville. The festival, entitled “What the Fluff? – A Tribute to Union Square Invention,” is in honor of Archibald Query, who first created marshmallow Fluff in Union Square in 1917.

The festival, in addition to having a baking contest for the best Fluff recipes, will feature music by Los Diablos (referred to online as the reigning “Kings of Irish-Jewish Folk-Punk,”), the Patrons, and Paddy Saul. There will also be an art exhibit, and performances by Thru the Keyhole in homage to the “Flufferettes” (the 1930’s radio show that advertised Fluff). And in true MIT fashion, there will be a science fair that you can enter to investigate the nature of Fluff. The grand prize, which may be one of the best grand prizes ever, is a chauffeured Zip Car (BMW or convertible Mini-Cooper) to the Durkee-Mower Factory (where Fluff is made) and a year’s supply of Fluff.

I urge you to drop those psets and check out this uniquely Massachusetts event. At the very least, buy yourself some marshmallow Fluff and peanut butter, and make yourself a Fluffernutter.