As children, we often made peanut butter/marshmallow fluff sandwiches for school lunches. They were super yummy – the fluff made the peanut butter less stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth sticky and added an extra hit of sugar. We would eat it on white bread which made for a very homogeneous texture. Or sometimes we would make the sandwiches with rye….yes, I know that sounds really weird, and it was, but rye bread was our growing up bread-staple, so we didn’t mind. This was less smooshy than white bread so actually added some diversity to an otherwise big blob of softness.
I hadn’t had marshmallow fluff in years. Sometimes I would see it in the store and think, hm maybe I should get some. But since I no longer regularly eat peanut butter sandwiches and I don’t have any other reason for buying the fluff, I always restrained myself. Until recently.
We hosted an ice cream social at work, and I was in charge of getting a bunch of toppings. I went with the usual sprinkles, Magic Shell (the chocolate sauce that hardens when it hits the ice cream creating a satisfyingly crunchy shell), chocolate chips, and caramel sauce. I also grabbed a jar of marshmallow fluff for good measure.
First off, I realized that the iconic Kraft jar is no longer glass, but a hard opaque white plastic, made to look full of fluff. Okay, that’s cool I guess. But then I tasted it.
Or rather, didn’t taste it. I put a little glob on my ice cream sundae and it just blended in, not lending any distinct taste to the dish. I guess my bowl was already overwhelmed from the forty-five other toppings swirling around in there.
So I took the fluff home and figured it would be a good treat for later. Side note: while I would never say marshmallow fluff is healthy it dooooes only have 45 calories for every two tablespoons, and only 8g of sugar which is less than a lot of cereal. There isn’t any high-fructose corn syrup or partially-hydrogenated stuff in there. Just regular corn syrup, which…ehhhh….is bound to happen.
I was excited to have a sweet treat for dessert one night, so I spread some fluff on a graham cracker. All I tasted was graham cracker. A few days later, I sandwiched some fluff between two gingersnaps. And it just tasted like gingersnap. Hmfph. Is it just me, or didn’t marshmallow fluff have a distinct taste to it? Like marshmallows? It seemed like no matter what I spread it on, it didn’t have any flavor besides whatever the vehicle was to bring the fluff to my mouth.
I resorted to eating straight spoonfuls of fluff right out of the jar. It has a flavor. It just isn’t very strong. I started to question my memory. Why did I think this was so good? I mean, it isn’t bad, but it isn’t what I remember. Did they change their formula? Or is this a case of thinking something is so much better than it actually is? Like the TV shows I watched growing up that are terrible if re-watched as an adult (sorry Step-by-Step).
As a last resort, I created a half peanut butter, half fluff spoon. (FYI in case you didn’t know, a slowly savored spoonful of peanut butter is an excellent dessert. Even better if you press raisins into it.) Surprisingly, this seemed to work. Maybe it jogged the taste memory center of my brain, but the combo of the peanut butter and the marshmallow seemed to actually bring out the flavor of the marshmallow more. Hm. Still not quite the punch I remember, but getting warmer.
Now that I think about it, the other use of marshmallow sauce (runnier than fluff) was in Friendly’s Reese’s Pieces Sundaes. if you haven’t ever had one of these, you must find a Friendly’s immediately and get one. They are the best. thing. ever. But again, this is a peanut butter – marshmallow pairing. Maybe this is the key.
Well anyway, suffice it to say, I won’t be purchasing anymore marshmallow fluff for a long time. Sad, and yet it always feels good to realize that you aren’t missing out on something you thought you wanted.
Addendum: Oh my goodness I just realized this is called Marshmallow Creme!! Is this different?!?!? Did they change the name? What is going on!?!?! Look at this article about how Fluff was created in Boston:
Did we call this Kraft Marshmallow Creme “fluff” because our mom grew up with the original Fluff in Boston? Questions…..Needing answers.