It’s creamy, it’s sweet and it’s become a staple of lunch boxes for generations of New England school children.
Now, the beloved Fluffernutter sandwich — the irresistible combination of Marshmallow Fluff and peanut butter, preferably on white bread with a glass of milk handy — finds itself at the center of a sticky political debate.
Sen. Jarrett Barrios was outraged that his son Nathaniel, a third-grader, was given a Fluffernutter sandwich at the King Open School in Cambridge. He said he plans to file legislation that would ban schools from offering the local delicacy more than once a week as the main meal of the day.
The Democrat said that his amendment to a bill on junk food in schools may seem “a little silly” — but that school nutrition is serious.
His proposal seemed anything but silly to Rep. Kathi-Anne Reinstein, a Democrat whose district in Revere is near the company that has produced the marshmallow concoction for more than 80 years, Durkee-Mower Inc.
The official sandwich?
She responded with a proposal to designate the Fluffernutter the “official sandwich of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
“I’m going to fight to the death for Fluff,” Reinstein said.
An aide to Barrios insisted the senator is not anti-Fluff and even plans to co-sponsor Reinstein’s bill, although he still believes schools should cut back on Fluffernutters.
“He loves Fluff as much as the next legislator,” aide Colin Durrant said.
Fluff has a long history in Massachusetts. The treat was popularized by H. Allen Durkee and Fred L. Mower, who cooked up the concoction in their kitchen at night and sold it door to door during the day.
Durkee and Mower purchased the recipe for Fluff for $500 from another Massachusetts man, Archibald Query, and also sold it door to door before wartime shortages shut down his operations. Query lived in Somerville, which is part of Barrios’ district.
The company didn’t immediately return a call for comment Tuesday.
Since its invention, legions of New England kids have grown up on Fluffernutters. Parents have used the sandwich as a food of last resort for finicky eaters, sometimes adding banana slices to complement the protein of the peanut butter.