I’m back from New Orleans, but before I get into the whats and wheres of that trip I need to share something with you: Keith is a genius.
As I type this, he’s playing a video game and singing “Build Me Up Buttercup” to himself, neither of which is the reason why he’s a genius. The reason is this: he made me a sandwich.
Maybe that doesn’t appear to be much to you, but to a sandwich-lovin’ girl like myself, it’s everything — particularly when the sandwich in question is a Fluffernutter, something I had never eaten before. To all of you who’ve read that last part in disbelief remember, my parents are foreigners who would most likely balk at the thought of Fluff, let alone abide by its presence in their house. To all of you who have no idea what a Fluffernutter is, hold on a second and I’ll explain.
One of the books I brought with me on our trip was The Best Food Writing 2009, which reprinted a Gastronimica article by Katie Liesener entitled “Marshmallow Fluff.” Aside from detailing the history of Fluff (originally developed in my old Somerville neighborhood), Liesener’s piece describes the powerful devotion Massachusetts residents have towards Fluff and the Fluffernutter. As a New York transplant — and daughter of the aforementioned foreigners — I never have experienced this Fluff fervor personally, and as I turned the pages I found the ardor Liesener captures surprisingly intense. This passage, for example, I read to Keith over the hum of the airplane’s engines last night:
“Consider, for example, lifelong fluff [sic] eater Emmett Rauch… Except for a few days’ hospitalization with prostate cancer, Rauch has eaten a fluffernutter [sic] on white bread every morning for breakfast since the day he returned home from World War II.
“‘He was unsatisfied with army food,’ explains his daughter, Ellen Rauch. ‘He was determined when he got back he would eat what he wanted.'”
After reading that, how could I not go out today on my normal food run and not pick up a jar of Fluff, not bring it home, not toss it to Keith and not say “make me a sandwich“?
Keith, born and bred Massachusetts man that he is, gallantly smeared peanut butter on one piece of bread and Fluff on the other; when he licked the knife clean — at my urging — he said, “This is my Ratatouille moment.”* Then, he handed me the sandwich on a plate, cautioning, “You’re not going to like it.”
Friends, I don’t like to rub it in when someone is wrong and I am right; it’s déclassé. That said, Keith was so wrong.
The Fluffernutter is amazing. It reminded me for some reason of Nutella, which I also happened to coincidentally purchase today, in the sense that both the hazelnut spread and the peanut butter/Fluff combo are incredibly smooth, creamy and dreamy, and the marshmallowy vanillaness of the Fluff adds a deeper richness to the already-rich peanut butter.
To put it simply, it’s damn good. And yes, I think I’ll have another, if Keith is willing to make it for me.