This year marks a century since marshmallow fluff was invented in Somerville.
The sticky, sweet candy spread has evolved into more than just a lunchbox staple over the years, with a festival celebrating fluff being held each year in Somerville's Union Square.
The creator of that festival, Mimi Graney, has become somewhat of an expert on fluff, and to mark the 100-year anniversary, she wrote a book about the spread called ‘Fluff: The Sticky Sweet Story of an American Icon.’
Graney joined ‘All Things Considered’ host Barbara Howard to discuss Fluff’s beginnings.
“It was invented in 1917 in a Somerville kitchen by Archibald Query who was a French-Canadian immigrant, confectioner, and he’d make it in his basement and sell it door-to-door,” Graney said.
After World War I, Query sold the recipe to two returning veterans for just $500, according to Graney. And the rest is the history we’re all familiar with.
“Everyone grew up with it, they feel an association with their own childhood, whether it was their mom making them a sandwich or cooking with it ... that label that hasn’t changed one bit has a sense of familiarity,” Graney said.
Graney further discussed fluff’s New England ties, such as its label, sales, and the iconic peanut butter and fluff sandwich—also known as the "fluffernutter"—which was developed in by a woman in Medford, Mass. who was a direct descendant of Paul Revere. She called it the "liberty sandwich."
Click on the audio player above to listen to the entire interview with Mimi Graney.