One of the perks of living in Inman Square is that I can walk to just about everything. Central and Harvard are a brisk 10 minutes away. Kendall and Porter are maybe 15. Even Lechmere is remarkably close (I stupidly assumed everything on the Green Line was wicked far away). While these areas are fine and have public transportation, it's the underrated Union Square where I've found the most lively Somerville representation. They have a massive Farmer's Market every Saturday morning that nearly puts Arlington's to shame (except there's no Goat Cheese :( ) The Market accepts Food Stamps(!)* and even allows you to swipe your Credit Card and get tokens for the Fair rather than schlub around looking for an ATM. I had Honey Crisp apples there a couple weeks ago that were so juicy and sweet that I needed to take a seat. The bagels I bought from IGGYs were so good that I almost was able to eat them all before they got stale. Well if a huge Farmer's Market wasn't enough to warm the cockles of your heart, this past Saturday was the 5th annual Fluff Festival in Union Square, a celebration of Marshmallow Fluff, the sweet, sticky Union Square invention that debuted in 1917 and became New England's Nutella. As legend (wikipedia) has it, Archibald Query perfected the blend of sugar, vanilla and egg whites in his Somerville kitchen and began selling it door to door. World War I's sugar shortage forced to Mr. Query to sell the rights to the product for a mere $500. Thanks to some dedicated folks in Union Square, his legacy lives on. I expected some Fluffernutter sandwiches and a couple T-shirts, but I was far off the mark. What The Fluff? is serious business. See the photos below.
*I don't use Food Stamps, but I think allowing them to be used at Farmer's Markets is a brilliant idea. .
I saw this sign on the way to the festival. I'll ignore that the acronym for the channel is "SCAT", but someone has to explain how Princess Leia and Darth Vader are associated with public access television.
This first of many "Fluff-themed" confections. These came courtesy of Kick-Ass Cupcakes.
Child-labor laws are loosened during the Fluff Festival.
The "FEAR FACTOR" portion of the Fluff Festival where people try to devise the next fluff-centric palate tickler.
Yes. That is a dill pickle and a cheese ball on a mattress of fluff and a saltine boxframe.
Ann ate it an loved it. She also loves Fluff. FIGURES.
My Fluff challenge. Pickle, tuna, Sriracha hot sauce, mustard, fluff.
The tart and briny topping was delicately balanced with the smooth sweetness of the fluff and the satisfying crunch of the salty cracker. It was pretty good actually, and probably something Jeff Kirkland would eat on a regular basis.
"Blind Man's Fluff". The preferred way to take out your anger on a loved one since 2006.
We found the Pharoah of Fluff, but not before he could get his hands on The Cat in the Hat.
There were oodles of games for the kiddies, although most had not developed the motor skills for them. This was Fluff Bowling.
Fluff Pyramid. I would have cleaned up on this one.
Fluff Toss. This one smacked into the board. I told him to try underhand if he wanted any tickets.
There was no age limit to pose as "Fluff-Boy". I make a dashing one if I do say so myself. Ignore the foot.
Someone is way too enthused for a $2 Fluffernutter.
There was also a Fluff cooking contest judged by area celebrities. I could have easily taken a scoop of this and no one would have known. Except for the marshmallow on my face.
Some Fluff take on "dirt". I also could have stolen this but exercised restraint. Mostly because I don't really like Fluff.
If there is a God, this Angel Food Cake Peanut Butter tower would unanimously win first place. We did not hang around to find out.
Eager to commence the judging.
An appropriate Grand prize.