Fluff

About ten years ago my husband told me, “I used to eat fluff sandwiches when I was a kid.” I don’t know how it came up. We had been dating for a few years at the time. I laughed heartily. We had a weird exchange that I’m going to recreate for you below:

Girlfriend Q:  “That’s funny.”
Boyfriend Q with a blank stare ::pause::  “No, I ate fluff sandwiches. For real.”
Girlfriend Q at a loss, “What is fluff?”
Boyfriend Q: “You don’t know what Fluff is?”
Girlfriend Q: “No, never heard of it. What is it?”

Boyfriend Q pauses, “I’m not sure. My mom would make fluff sandwiches for us when we got home from school. You never had fluff sandwiches?”
Girlfriend Q: “No, not that I’m aware of….”
One of the next grocery trips I made a point of seeking out this “Fluff.” And I found it. I stared at the jar perplexed. Not what I expected to be used as a sandwich filling. Being the devoted girlfriend I was, I bought a big jar for him and brought it home.
Girlfriend Q triumphant: “I found ‘Fluff’ at the grocery store.”
Boyfriend Q confirms, “Yep, that’s it.”
Girlfriend Q: “I can’t believe you ate this as a kid. I’ll make you a fluff sandwich if you want one?”
Boyfriend Q uninterested: “Maybe later.”

That jar of Fluff sat for a long time. He never opened it. It got pushed to the back of the cabinet and I found it when we were packing up for a move. The contents had separated and it was opened for the first time only so that the contents could be tipped into the garbage and the glass jar recycled. My first and last experience with Fluff. I think of it as a regional food.

Do you know what Fluff is? Do you eat it? Any guesses on where my husband grew up?

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164 Responses to Fluff

  1. The Incredible Shrinking Family July 23, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    Ah, yes- Fluff ! The Fluffernutter sandwich ( Fluff, crunchy peanut butter and white bread) was the rage in the 60's in places in the midwest (Chicago area for sure). Fluff is also a component in many homemade fudge recipes as well. Odds are good if you have been given homemade fudge for the holidays, you have eaten it.

  2. Dawn July 23, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    I grew up in the Midwest. I love fluff on loved fluff on graham crackers (pre-wheat allergy). I often look at the Fluff as I pass it in the store and remember those days with a smile. It was also good on chocolate-covered grahams.

  3. Lynn July 23, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    I am originally from MA where Fluff is made. My nickname growing up was Fluffernutter which is a PB and Fluff sandwich.

    My daughter loves "smores" sandwiches which is fluff, Dark Chocolate Dreams PB on whole wheat bread.

    In winter we would put a big spoonful in a mug of hot chocolate. Yum~

  4. Kate July 23, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

    I am from NY. We used to eat Fluffernutters, too! We pretty much had to sneak it into the cart at the grocery… my mom hated the stuff.

  5. Kate July 23, 2010 at 7:24 pm #

    I'm from NH and my brother and I used to have PB and Fluff sandwiches when we were kids. Also – fantastic in hot chocolate!

  6. Anonymous July 23, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

    I grew up and still live in northeastern Ohio and have never heard of Fluff; have never even had it. I was presuming it was a "southern" delicacy, kind of akin to moon pies and RC Cola. For the record, I HATE moon pies and chocolate covered marshmallow eggs that are so populat at Easter time, so I would not even seek out Fluff to try out of curiosity.

    I believe what Elvis liked was peanut butter and bananas on toast . . . I remember my mom and I watch a documentary about Elvis several years after his death and that being mentioned. We both looked at each other with expressions of "WHAT???" Then instantly pondered the combination and decided to try it. It is delicious . . . whole grain bread toasted, peanut butter, sliced bananas, and a drizzle of honey (optional) . . . mmmmmmmmmmmmm. I made it one time while visiting my brother and his family. My nephew, who was 3 at the time, wanted to try it and from that day on would only have toast if it had peanut butter and bananas!!

  7. Anonymous July 23, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    Fluffernutters – heaven!

    My kids actually prefer this to PB&J and there's not a ton of difference sugar wise (we also have a wide variety of lunches so it's only every couple of months or so)

    I can't believe people would eat them on white bread though, yuck!

  8. Sar July 23, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    I am also from NY. Fluff was not offered at school but I recall my mom buying it maybe once, for fluff & pb sandwiches (on white bread! the horror!). I also ate it at friend's houses, but never remember *liking* it. Too sweet, too "fluffy".

    It's nothing I would ever touch again.

    Funny story though, thanks for posting. I love your site and think you are doing a great job exposing school lunches for their true lack of nutritional value.

  9. Anonymous July 23, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    I grew up in Maine, and my mom used to make "fluffernutters" for us kids. We loved it!! I'm sooo craving one right now!

  10. lunchnotes July 23, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    I grew up in Toledo, Ohio and we ate PB&Fluff about half as often as PB&J. Crunchy peanut butter with fluff on squishy white bread…eat the crusts first and then you have a pillow of nutty marshmallowy deliciousness! Now we use Fluff for indoor s'mores: fluff + nutella + graham cracker.

  11. WordVixen July 23, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

    Wow- 105 comments already? Does that officially make this the most popular post ever? :-) I had never heard of fluffernutters until I was, oh, a teenager, at least. And then I only found out through other kids in my class. Fluff and pb sandwiches are really good for about 2 bits, but they get to be too much REALLY quick. My husband loves them, though. Hopefully he'll get over that before we have kids!

  12. Stephanie July 23, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

    I grew up in New England, with peanutbutter and fluff sandwiches. And I'd put a dollup of it in my hot chocolate in the winter.

  13. De Nueva July 23, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    I'm sure this stuff has scary ingredients, but mom makes THE most amazing chocolate peanut butter bars with it. They include 4 things: marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, butter, and devils food cake mix. So not good for you, but so very delicious.

  14. Mrs. Q July 23, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    Wow! This was a popular post. If you can believe it, this post idea came to me in the middle of the night. Maybe I was dreaming of sandwiches…

    My husband is from the East Coast!

  15. Kathleen July 23, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    I grew up in Connecticut. We had Fluffernutter sandwiches (Fluff & peanut butter) – usually in the summertime, I think; I don't recall getting it in my lunchbox at school. We always begged for, but were never allowed Fluff & jelly sandwiches (too much sugar)

  16. JaniceNJ July 23, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    My husband still loves Fluff (preferably with peanut butter on Ritz crackers. But I do not like it at all — not even when I was a kid. We are both from NJ.

  17. Lynn July 23, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    I am from Indiana and we mix Fluff and strawberry cream to make fruit dip. At least the fruit part is healthy!

  18. Anonymous July 23, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    The one good thing I can say in favor of fluff over marshmallows is that fluff is kosher, whereas marshmallows are not. So fluff can be used for things like candied yams, s'mores, etc the same way marshmallows can.

    I've never had a fluffernutter sandwich though. I've always been a little intrigued by the idea, but never enough to justify buying an entire jar of the stuff.

  19. Anonymous July 23, 2010 at 10:05 pm #

    i looooove fluff. i live in kansas and my mom always made pb and fluff sandwiches. also, theres a recipe on the back to make fugde i think. and its good.

  20. Kathy July 23, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

    One hundred eighteen comments?! Wow.

    I've had Fluff — or some other company's version of it — once or twice. I remember buying a small container of it years ago, since I'd recently seen a recipe that utilized it. Foolish thinking, foolish shopping, and a foolish thing on which to spend money. I think I eventually threw the container out.

    Incidentally, King Arthur Flour published a recipe for fluffernutter pie this week: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2010/07/20/peanut-butter-marshmallow-pie/

  21. Anonymous July 23, 2010 at 11:59 pm #

    Definitely east of the Rockies if not the Mississippi because we didn't have that in CA. I had heard of it, but we did not have it, although I think there was something comparable, sort of like our Best Foods is your Hellman's.

  22. Melissa July 24, 2010 at 12:53 am #

    Peanut butter and Fluff sandwiches were the best as a kid. I grew up in New Brunswick, Canada so I wouldn't say it's a regional thing at all.

  23. Myztri July 24, 2010 at 1:45 am #

    Texas, and we had fluffernutter sandwiches. They can also be used for "cheat" smores using chocolate graham crackers and marshmallow cream (fluff).

    You can also use it to make "cheat" fudge and "cheat" divinity.

  24. Nicole July 24, 2010 at 1:45 am #

    I'm a native Oregonian, and I've always referred to "fluff" as marshmallow creme. It's a staple ingredient whenever I make fudge (in addition to actual marshmallows for texture. :) )

    And I've heard of fluffernutter sandwiches (probably from reading a ton of books when I was younger) but never tried one. They sound good though!

  25. Anonymous July 24, 2010 at 2:07 am #

    Yup, if he grew up eating "Fluffahnuttahs" as we called them, he's probably a New Englandah.

  26. Anonymous July 24, 2010 at 2:58 am #

    Fluffernutters are my favorite sandwich (and I grew up outside Philly)! Sugar (non-natural peanut butter) and sugar (fluff) on sugar (white bread)! I have one about once a year or every two years. :)

    Oh, and the marshmallow "creme" that I think you can find more widely in grocery stores is NOT Fluff. Different consistency.

  27. Megan V July 24, 2010 at 3:23 am #

    I grew up in Michigan as a kid and never had it. But I spent the summers in Pennsylvania (near Philly) and would babysit tons of kids all summer. Lots of moms would tell me to feed their kids peanut butter and fluff sandwiches and I did do it but was so weirded out by it! Why not feed them something without sugar in it so I don't have to deal with hyper 4 year olds all afternoon?? hahaha. I tried it once with them and had jelly from then on.
    OH!! And! One of the kids only liked JELLY AND FLUFF sandwiches. Fluffnjellys?? Hah. Disgustinggg!

  28. Ronda July 24, 2010 at 3:25 am #

    I grew up in Upstate NY and remember begging my mom to buy the stuff.
    Now just looking at the jar makes my teeth ache!

  29. Billie July 24, 2010 at 3:46 am #

    I grew up in Calif. and my mom never bought anything like that. And it wasn't until the internet that I even heard of it. Must be like marshmallow creme, but I haven't had the need to purchase it. Great post!

  30. Mallory July 24, 2010 at 4:45 am #

    We use fluff to make fruit dip at my house. On special occasions we mix it with cream cheese for a tasty dip!

  31. Anonymous July 24, 2010 at 7:00 am #

    I live in CA and never see the Fluff brand of fluff anywhere, so I've never eaten a fluffernutter in my life…though I would try one. A question for those of you in the know. Is there any difference between the official Fluff and the Kraft Marshmallow Creme in either flavor or texture? Because the Kraft product IS readily available.

  32. Stoerenfrieda July 24, 2010 at 8:32 am #

    It cant be very regional cause we have it in our supermarkets too, and I live in Germany. I never had it, I actually dislike Marshmallows, but I bought it for a friend once and she liked it. We have the regular kind as well as a strawberry flavored one. Probably not what anyone should provide their kids for a meal…

  33. Anonymous July 24, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    My mother grew up in Lynn, MA, where the Fluff factory was. We ate it often, although never referred to it as "Fluff" — we always called it "marshmallow", and the sandwiches were just "peanut butter and marshmallow."

    I remember, as a kid, reading the text "Try a Fluffernutter!" on the jar. My brothers and I use to make fun of it, because to us it sounded as if the Fluff makers were trying to make it look as though a "fluffernutter" was this great new invention, when we had been eating peanut butter and marshmallow sandwiches all our lives — so as far as we were concerned, they had existed forever.

  34. Anonymous July 24, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    We never ate fluff on sandwiches when I was growing up in Ohio. My ex showed them to me when I was in the military in NC, he was from TX. But my husband, who is from the Netherlands, eats something called a sprinkle sandwich. It's basically two pieces of bread spread with butter and filled with chocolate sprinkles. Yes, sprinkles, like what kids decorate cupcakes, cookies or ice cream with! I can't imagine feeding our kids those things! But, his mom regularly sends him boxes of sprinkles so he can make his sandwiches. They sell them by the box in Holland, not by a little plastic shaker container. He says the quality of the sprinkles is much better than what we use as decorations. I say it's the grossest thing I've ever heard of.

  35. Mugen.no.Kaze July 24, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    This may sound stupid, but I've never heard of Fluff. Is it the same thing as Jet-puffed marshmallow creme. It looks like they're just different brands of the same thing.

  36. Tina July 24, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    Love it…and the regular Marshmallow Creme! Either on top of hot chocolate instead of marshmallows or used to make various very fattening treats around the holidays such as fudge…or mixed with strawberry cream cheese for a fruit dip :o) Pretty good on a spoon or my finger too…but never in a sandwich?! Hm….

  37. Rachel July 24, 2010 at 11:08 pm #

    I'm from Kansas, and we had Marshmallow Creme growing up, but it was just used to make fudge. I'd never heard of fluffernutters until I went to college near Chicago, with lots of classmates from Indiana, Illinois, and Minnesota.

  38. Pieceful Bits July 25, 2010 at 1:51 am #

    I'm from NW Indiana and as a child we had fluffer nutters for breakfast at school…gasp. It was the only day I participated in breakfast.
    Half a hamburger or hotdog bun spread with peanut butter and marshmellow creme and then baked until lightly browned. YUMMY! Now, if I want to make it I just substitute mini marshmallows for the fluff. It is super sweet but a comfort food for me.

  39. Queenscook July 25, 2010 at 3:46 am #

    Absolutely love Fluff. I'm from NY. I grew up on Fluffernutters, though never had a sandwich that was just Fluff. I also never had it along with PB & J; the Fluff always substituted for the jelly. Now, however, I occasionally add it to a PB & J, and after reading this post and all these comments, I think I'm going to have to make one for myself!

    And for whomever it was that said they were sure Fluff had "scary" ingredients, I hardly think egg whites, sugar, and vanilla are scary. They probably use corn syrup now, but compared to the chemical-ese on most processed goods these days, it doesn't scare me at all.

    Oh, no. I just went to check the corn syrup/sugar thing, and see that I don't have any. Gee, thanks everyone . . . get me in the mood, and I have to wait until tomorrow at least to buy some!

  40. Anonymous July 25, 2010 at 6:43 am #

    I grew up in SE PA and we loved Fluffnutters as an occasional treat as well! My mother was largely a health nut (we were macrobiotic for years and years) but this was an exception. Our sandwiches were made with homemade whole grain bread, and organic fresh ground unsweetened peanut butter. I later had the white bread/jiffy/fluff combo at a friend's house and hated it! Not enough texture or interest for me. I would be tempted to make them with homemade marshmallows, but alas, I developed a peanut allergy in my 20's and I have no desire to eat the Fluff without the Nutter.

  41. Michele July 25, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    I am from PA. No matter what my parents make for dinner, my Dad brings out a jar of PB, Fluff and Ritz Crakers to end the meal. He will turn 80 years old in September.

    I never liked fluff but my daughter loves it!

  42. Katie July 25, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    I grew up in MA and have fond memories of eating PB & Fluff (aka Fluffernuttter) sandwiches on vacation in Maine. My mother wouldn't buy Fluff because she considered it candy, but my aunt would always bring it to our cabin in Maine where it was a special treat.

    It wasn't until I went to the Peace Corps that I realized Fluff was a regional thing. It came up in conversation between volunteers and the west coast volunteers had never heard of it, while the east coast volunteer had nostalgic memories. This led to a volunteer from NY having her mom send some in a care package so everyone could try the wonderful fluff. In the end the west coasters still didn't see the appeal, but for those of us who remembered fluff from our childhood it was a welcome reminder of home.

  43. Anonymous July 25, 2010 at 8:54 pm #

    I am originally from Ohio, I never heard of the fluffernutter until I was in college (in NE Ohio), but we always had Fluff in the house growing up, we just never combined it with PB for a sandwich! We used it to make fudge (still my favorite fudge recipe) and rice krispy treats. I remember when my mom was melting it with butter for the treats I would gobble down as much as I could when she turned her back. I remember it being SOO good with melted butter…sounds really gross now! My mom still uses it in baking, I recently bought some so my fiancé could try it (we live in Indiana). He didn't care for it, but I did have a fluffernutter out of it before pitching the rest (forgot it was the cabinet and it went bad).

  44. Just a girl July 25, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

    I had never heard of it until I was in high school and didn't get into eating it until I was in college and it was more when I was stressed than anything else.

  45. Erin Starks-Teeter July 26, 2010 at 1:49 am #

    My husband said he used to eat that for lunch when he was a kid. My eyeballs about popped out when he told me. Shouldn't that be more of a dessert?

  46. JJ Gonson July 27, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    Hey there, I'm sorry, I didn't make it through all the comments, so forgive me if I am redundant….
    As KitchenGirl mentioned above, the sticky mess of marshmallow beloved by generations, and called Fluff, is from Somerville MA, where there is a festival, called "What the Fluff?" every year. It's fun, if you are in town you should check it out.
    But that is not the reason I'm writing. Much more appropos of your mission, Mrs. Q, you should know that the alternate lunch in Cambridge, next to Somerville, where we live, is…. you guessed it: Fluff sandwich.
    Fluff is marshmellow creme and basically devoid of nutritients. It is sugar, corn sweetners and a bit of egg white, but nothing protein wise, to speak of.
    I go to the meetings of the group who oversee food in the public school and bang my head against that wall on a regular basis and what I've learned about the presence of Fluff on the menu is that not only is it NOT a commodity, which means we pay for it out of the teeeeeny tiny bit of money for school food, but also there have been raging arguments over it staying on the menu, for years from what I hear, because it is a locally made product, and therefor a time honored tradition in our area.
    Good grief. Talk about the local music going wrong!
    Love your blog, thanks! JJ

  47. ~Kris July 27, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

    I grew up knowing about fluffernutter sandwiches, but i didnt like them. They were a VERY rare treat… as my dad would usually only buy fluff for making fudge around the holidays, and if there was any left over – then MAYBE he and my brothers would make a few sandwiches.

    for a rare treat for my kids, we make fluff and nutella sanwiches

    I'm guess your husband grew up in the north east area of the US….

  48. Melissa July 28, 2010 at 9:48 pm #

    We make freezer cookies as a special treat. Graham crackers + Nutella + Fluff. Put in freezer until set. It's like a frozen Smores. :)

  49. My Life on the Dole August 2, 2010 at 5:06 am #

    I'm a Georgia girl & never heard of Fluff or Fluffernutter sandwiches until I was grown up. I don't know of anyone–child or adult–who ate them when I was growing up.

    Ewwww! Turns my stomach just to consider such a nutritional autracity!! Bleck! Sounds like a good way to mess up peanut butter if you aske me. I'll let y'all keep that up in the North, etc. :)

  50. Enjoy the Ride August 2, 2010 at 4:31 pm #

    I knew about it in Western NY state (Rochester area) – my friends had it and I was always jealous because it was not something that was ever bought and put in our house. I had it a few times at friends' houses, but that's it (the fluffer-nutter as others have said)… and when I grew up, I just never bought any. Just another form of sugar, like I don't have enough of that at my fingertips!

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