Cooking

Diamond in the Fluff

Why Marshmallow Fluff deserves a place in your pantry
Photo: Katie Foster/Tasting Table
Marshmallow Fluff

Ketchup, I'mma let you finish—but Marshmallow Fluff is the greatest condiment of all time.

When setting out to determine the one condiment I couldn't live without, I started with the obvious first test: Which would I rather jump into a pool filled with? Easy. Marshmallow Fluff is in the top 10 for softest-looking things in the world. It's like an edible Michelin man made of sugar and pure joy. For those who are already thinking of phrases like lowbrow, processed, sugary, health concerns, hold on one second. It has only four ingredients, and all of them are pronounceable: corn syrup, sugar, reconstituted egg whites and vanilla extract. None of which are anything to be afraid of, unless you hate fun.

For something with corn syrup and sugar listed as the first two ingredients, six grams of sugar per serving is not that bad of a situation. Plus, its history is as American as you can get for a food product. It made its way into variety shows (featuring Flufferettes), it was founded by veterans and the website uses more Comic Sans than a fourth grader. So disliking the puffy spread would be anything but patriotic.

Marshmallow Fluff is of course glorious in its original form, slathered on rice cakes or Biscoff cookies. Then there's the obvious next step: the Fluffernutter. Rule number one being to never wash your knife between spreads. It's imperative that the nut butter swirls into the marshmallow filling, creating a blended mosaic that essentially marks the container "mine." Or try the gluten-free (and really just effort-free) version: Take a spoon first to nut butter, then to Fluff, then use it as glue for chocolate chips or cocoa nibs. In the summer, start with Fluff that's been frozen onto a spoon for a popsicle that says "Take that, fruit!"

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On to more controversial uses: Marshmallow Fluff makes excellent salad dressing. I'm not naive enough to think that such a statement wouldn't cause the eye roll heard around the world, but try it. Your average poppy seed dressing probably has double the sugar of a tablespoon of Fluff, so that point is moot, plus we spent half the 20th century calling Cool Whip and pudding a salad. Spread it on a large piece of romaine, wrap it up jelly roll-style and eat it with abandon.

And you haven't lived until you've tried it on pretzels. While everyone was freaking out over sea salt caramel, they could have just been putting Fluff on all their salty snacks. Fluff is also instant cake frosting, as it's practically identical to seven-minute frosting. Though it's more like 11-second frosting, which is the approximate time it takes to take off the lid and pick up a knife.

On the back of the jar (or tub, if you're buying the appropriate size), there's a recipe for Never Fail Fudge. I judge the name—I don't consider a company telling a home cook to use the soft ball stage test to be "foolproof"—but the taste is peerless. And I made it many times growing up with no memories of failing or burning the house down, even though I did have my mom's hands helping out.

Fluff has only one flaw, and it has nothing to do with taste or elegance: It just gets all over everything—your face, the counter, the dog, you name it. Pro tip: Rub peanut butter on your face to get it off (a trick my mom taught me when I started exploring the possibilities of bubble gum). Since you're hopefully making a Fluffernutter, you'll have it on hand.

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