Have you ever enjoyed a lovely FlufferNutter sandwich? Did you ever just wonder why there isn't enough hype around marshmallows?
One city has been celebrating the existence of the delicious marshmallow spread for the last 11 years, and it's the real Fluffin' deal.
Marshmallow Fluff was created in 1917 by Archibald Query in Union Square, and, for the last couple of years, Somerville, Massachusetts has been home to FluffFestival, formally called "What the Fluff? A Tribute to Union Square Invention." Each year, Union Square gets closed off for various vendors, performers, cooking contests and shenanigans to celebrate the invention of Marshmallow Fluff in the place where the sugary idea first came to life.
This year's theme was "Fluff U: A Sweet Education", and this PopWrapped staffer definitely learned a lot at this festival.
From high school students selling FlufferNutters and Rice Krispies to local vendors adding the sweet twist to their menu, Fluff was everywhere. Even a local restaurant and pub called The Independent featured a mixed drink called "Fluff Life." For a good price, customers got to enjoy a drink with vodka, Fluff, peanut butter and soda. I was a little hesitant to try a drink that mixes peanut butter, vodka and soda, but this drink was absolutely incredible.
The fun didn't just stick to the official planned shenanigans for the festival. While waiting by the bicycle hub near the Bank of America, most people didn't think anything of a group of kids gathering. I honestly brushed them off as kids just hanging out and enjoying the day.
As I sat on the bikes, something tiny hit me on the arm. When I looked down to see a tiny marshmallow lying on the ground, I figured out that I had severely underestimated what was going on. By the time I looked back up, tiny marshmallows were being launched at the two separate groups of friends. Some people started walking faster, covering their faces from any projectiles, pigeons were flying around, attempting to grab some of the spent ammo, and the kids just laughed and kept launching the snacks at each other. The tiny puffs of marshmallow were flying way too fast to be captured on my camera, but I did willingly step into the line of fire to catch a picture of some of the cool marshmallow launchers kids had.
One of the most intense games to watch was definitely Jousting. Participants were given a pool noodle that had its ends covered in Fluff. The challenge? Both participants had to stand on a balance beam and try to knock each other off with the noodles.
The first of the kids' match-ups had the competitors bringing their A game, with Felix v Felix both staying pretty steady on the beam. The Fluff was flying by the time the adults got the chance to joust. In the end, 24-year old Rob Carter managed to defend his title for the third straight year for the adults' jousting competition, but he lost to young Felix Marshall for the overall title.
After honorary degrees were handed out to the winners of the FluffFest Cooking Contest by the Somerville Mayor and some other performers, there was one more fun event I enjoyed before calling it a night. At the appropriately named Shenanigans area, where the Fluff Jousting took place, was the final game of the Fluff Hair Do Contest.
Pairs were given a few minutes, one acting as a stylist and using Fluff (and Peanut Butter, if they so chose) to style their partner's hair into whatever style they wanted. Not wanting to be one to miss out on the full experience, this staffer joined up with her classmate and decided to take part in the contest. The attempt at a unicorn horn earned us second place in the contest and left me having to take quite the awkward Uber ride home with excessive amounts of Fluff in my hair.
Next year is probably going to be even more exciting, as 2017 marks the 100th year since the creation of Marshmallow Fluff.
Fluff Fest was an incredible amount of fun, and I look forward to next year's event. If you're around Boston next year, definitely make the trip to Somerville; you won't regret it! My only advice is to make sure you pick clothes that could stand to be stained with a little Fluff.