March Madness it isn't what you think

I know, I know. March Madness is all about college basketball and the second most entertaining sporting event of the year. But March is also Marshmallow Fluff Month.

The Fluff people, the folks who make and sell and possibly even eat the stuff, are marking Fluff's 100th Anniversary all this month. And this could be big.

Somerville, MA resident Archibald Query created (invented, perpetrated, inflicted?) Fluff on an unsuspecting populace during WWI. Rumors that he intended to use it to seal his leaking gutters were debunked long ago. It is what it is and certainly belongs in the same essential food group as Moxie, (another esteemed consumable, one of the first bottled carbonated beverages made in America—and an acquired taste—that proudly boasts its Massachusetts roots). Food group or no, Fluff has been sticking to the roofs of people’s mouths for a century and that is no small feat. The U.S. Department of Agriculture be damned.

No doubt the people of Massachusetts—in a show of solidarity all this month—will be spreading Fluff on all their pancakes, chowder, stuffed clams, lobster, baked beans, you name it. I'm waiting for Dunkin Donuts to announce a Fluffified Coffee or a Fluff-nut, available for a limited time only—always a good device to get people to try new spins on existing products.

The nation, individual states, trade associations, and producers are really into food celebrations of this type. March is especially blessed as it counts—in addition to Fluff's 100th—National Potato Chip Day, National CornDog Day, National Chip and Dip Day (obviously a case of double-dipping by the potato chip folks), National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day, and Pecan Day. Can Spinach, Cereal, Pancakes (at IHOP), Chocolate Caramel, and Poultry Days be far behind? No, they all come in for their special Day this month, too.

And that's just the first course of March foodie observances. There's a quite a full menu. Among the more noteworthy: National School Breakfast Week, Chocolate Week, Frozen Food Month, Noodle Month, and Quinoa Month. I feel full already. Sadly, National Catfish Day is no longer regularly celebrated—for reasons unstated.

Not to be overlooked are World Day for Water, National Mulled Wine Day, National Irish Coffee Day, and in either a classic example of guerrilla marketing or a stunning coincidence, National Fix A Leak Week is also "celebrated" in March.

No one knows how many additional servings of spinach, peanut clusters and mulled wine have been consumed as a result of these celebrations. Probably not as many as marketers hoped (just a rough guess). But we do know that even before the 100th Anniversary of Fluff, for example, innovative cooks have used it as an ingredient in a variety of concoctions, many even considered edible. Like Fluffernutter sandwiches, Grasshopper Pie, Whoopie Pie, Holiday Sweet Potatoes, Fluff Hard Sauce. There's even a brand new up-and-comer: a "berry, chocolate and Fluff-filled Polish Dumpling." This anniversary can only add to the Fluff oeuvre.

For you creative cooks out there, or anyone curious about the dangers of combining various chemical products in the kitchen, you'll find dozens more dishes in the Fluff company’s handy online recipe collection. The Online Yummy Book – Welcome to Marshmallow Fluff is destined to become a staple in every household. Add your own faves online and become Fluffamous. Dazzle your next dinner guests with something Fluff. Don't thank me, thank Archibald Query, the legendary Fluffmeister himself.

Diabetics would be well advised to consult their endocrinologist before consuming any food in Massachusetts this month.

For those who like to plan ahead, April is Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month.