Thank God for the judiciary: Ruling finds a burrito is not a sandwich

I was OK when Massachussett’s judges ruled that gays and lesbians have the same right to need a divorce attorney as the rest of us do, but this is going too far. Panera Bread sued to prevent a Qboda Mexican Grill from moving into a Shrewsbury mall where Panera already resided (Panera’s lease barred the mall from renting to another sandwich shop, see.) But Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Locke decided the case was all fluff and no peanut butter.

In what must have been some of the funniest testimony on record, both Cambridge chef Chris Schlesinger and a former high-ranking USDA official said that a burrito is not a sandwich. In case that wasn’t enough expertise, the judge said he also relied on the definition supplied by the Webster’s Third New International Dictionary.

Your honor I must object. It has bread. It has a filling. It is a sandwich. And yes I know I’ve just opened the door to everything from knishes to pirogi to calzones being declared a sandwich but I don’t care. It’s the principle that matters. Or maybe it’s the cheese…

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What The Fluff? fest comes to town

Loyal reader doubtless remembers how passionate we are about Marshmallow Fluff here in the Bay State (where it was invented). Earlier this year a state rep stepped in to the fluff when he offered a bill that would ban the corn-syrup based concotion from being served in public schools. The measure was withdrawn after opponents pointed out that Fluff was no more or less harmful than the corn-syrup based “jelly” that the schools also use. (This would seem an argument for banning both, but never mind.) Also, last spring Fluff purveyors Durkee-Mower sued the far-more upscale Williams-Sonoma to stop them from purveying a candy called Fluffernutter.

All of which goes to explain why this Saturday I will have the opportunity/duty to attend What The Fluff in Somerville, MA. The event bills itself as “the ultimate tribute to Union Square resident Archibald Query who invented Marshmallow Fluff here in 1917.

Non-marshmallow treats include:

  • The Flufferettes (aka Thru the Keyhole Cuties)
  • Music from Los Diablos, “the reigning ‘Kings of Irish-Jewish Folk-Punk'”
  • A cooking contest with prizes that include: “a trip for two in a chauffeured Zip Car (BMW or convertible Mini-Cooper) to Lynn for a private tour of the Durkee-Mower factory, a year’s supply of Marshmallow Fluff and more”

The local drinking establishments are also joining in with Fluffy potent potables including the Fluffachino — espresso with frangelico or amaretto with Fluff melting on top, the Fluffernutter Martini — a chocolate martini with Fluff and Reese’s Pieces on the rim, and — the “Coney Island Men’s Room” — blue martini with dollop of strawberry Fluff floating on top. I do not say the following lightly: I was never, ever so drunk that any of those would have been appealing. (Does anyone know what an actual martini is anymore?)

Follow Ups

Fluff fighter cuts and runs from sticky situation

State Sen. Jarrett Barrios has ended his efforts to pass legislation that would have banned Marshmallow Fluff in Massachusetts public schools. Too bad, it probably would have been the most effective thing the legislature did all year.

Speaking of incredibly strange foods based on high fructose corn syrup: Twinkie lasagna or Twinkie tacos or even Twinkie kebabs. Yep, not since the incredibly well read Krispy Kreme Burger have I encountered such terrifying food ideas. I’m not sure whether I am relieved or disappointed that none of these concotions have tomato sauce, melted cheese or some form of meat.

Marshmallow Fluff sparks sticky fight in Mass. legislature

The Massachusett's state legislature has apparently taken care of all the major issues facing the state while I wasn't looking. How else to explain that there are now TWO bills before the leg dealing with the crucial Marshmallow fluff issue. In response to an effort earlier this week to ban Marshmallow Fluff from public schools, State Representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein says she will file a bill to make the Fluffernutter the state's official sandwich. Quoth the Globe: "A Fluffernutter is a peanut butter and Fluff sandwich."

Fluff is manufactured in Lynn, the city of sin, which is in Reinstein's district.

"I'm protective of Fluff; I grew up on it," said Reinstein, a Democrat. "But it's insane that we're having this conversation."

It is insane. So why are you prolonging it? As some one once told me: The problem with arguing with a crazy person is not just that you can't win but that someone else viewing the argument may not be able to tell which of you is crazy.

When Marshmallow Fluff® is outlawed, only outlaws will have Marshmallow Fluff®

Mass. state Senator Jarrett T. Barrios (D-Cambridge — uh duh) is introducing legislation that would restrict the serving of the incredibly non-nutritious “food” stuff in the public schools.

Give it up for Sen. Barrios who saw the lunacy of this particular piece of legislation, but said this lunacy was far outweighed by the lunacy of serving Fluff in schools in the first place.

“It seems a little silly to have an amendment on Fluff, but it’s called for by the silliness of schools offering this as a healthy alternative in the first place.”

His legislation is an amendment to a bill that he bill would prohibit most candy bars and potato chips, as well as soft drinks, from vending machines in elementary schools.

Barrios already has one constituent who is unhappy over the matter, his son Nathaniel, a third-grader at King Open School in Cambridge. Nathaniel in advertantly clued dad into this sticky Fluff situation. Hope his school mates don’t hold that against him for too long.

FWIW: Fluff was invented in Somerville, MA, which is Barrios’ home district.

Williams-Sonoma gets hit with a very sticky court case

What would happen if you put three pounds of marshmallows in the microwave, set in on high and cooked for three minutes? You'd get marshmallow fluff, but you wouldn't get Marshmallow Fluff™ which is the trademark of Durkee-Mower Inc. If you put peanut butter and either Fluff™ or fluff together you would get a classic, at least here in New England, called Fluffernutter. If you tried to package that further and sell it as a candy you would get sued. Which is just what happened to food concept retailer Williams Sonoma. According to the Boston Globe, Durkee-Mower has sued WS and demanded it "stop selling tins of a candy bar called the Fluffernutter, a name 86-year-old Durkee-Mower trademarked in 1961." The Globe reports that Don Durkee, the company's 80-year-old president, is truly amused that the words Fluffernutter and "intellectual property" are appearing together in any context. You go, Don!