Metro, Column

Maryland, Boston, And Sandwiches

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Senate and House of Representatives assembled in general court earlier this week to discuss matters of great importance-increased expansion on reporting deadlines of public health bills, the authorization of district funding to local public libraries, and the designation of the fluffernutter as the Commonwealth’s official sandwich.

The popular New England dessert-sandwich-consisting of Marshmallow Fluff and peanut butter slathered messily on white bread-was the subject of House Bill 2868, which was filed on Tuesday by former State Representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein. Although it still needs another vote of the House before going to the Senate, the proposed law has already received initial approval from state lawmakers.

If the bill makes it through the Senate, Massachusetts will be one of two states that has its own, legally binding, official sandwich-along with Maryland and the soft-shell crab sandwich.

As ridiculous as it seems, sandwiches, grinders, hoagies, subs, and heroes not only manage to hold a special place in the heart of every Eagles’ Nest diner, but also a cultural significance across the U.S. The fluffernutter is no exception-created in Somerville in 1917, the sandwich has been around almost as long as the Boston Marathon.

Although I would trade a fluffernutter for a West Coast Chicken, the history and significance of the sticky-sweet sandwich falls in line with other New England favorites, putting it on a to-taste pedestal, along with chowdah and Sam Adams. It is because of this importance that I think the bill would be a great addition to Massachusetts’ legislation.

Traditions, no matter how ridiculous they are, manage to hold cities and regions together based solely on the connection of being a part of the same area, or action. In a similar way as we that assume the New England food staples upon setting foot in Boston, we take on the responsibility of cheering our hearts out for the Marathon runners as BC students. Family traditions, college traditions, and state traditions all work to build a sort of community that anyone and everyone can get behind.

Since I walked up the Million Dollar Stairs the first time this fall, I have had the opportunity to assume the traditions of BC as well as those of Boston, from Superfan shirts to making the trek to Southie for St. Patrick’s Day.

One of the best parts about BC in this way is Boston­-not only that we have access to the array of opportunities that the city has to offer, but that we are thrust into the culture of the city even if we never leave the security of the BC bubble.

Although my humble, maroon-shuttered, single-level home in Maryland is only about 10 minutes farther outside of DC than BC is from Boston, it wasn’t until August that I was ever able to be swept up in a city’s tradition. DC is great, with the president, cherry blossoms, and a sprinkling of oddly shaped monuments, of course, but there is a reason why the slogan isn’t DC Strong. Somewhere between the fluffernutter and the Head of the Charles, Boston has a way of making itself feel like it is yours, regardless of if you were born in the 617 or the 301.

I couldn’t be happier to have this city as my own for the next three years: to excitedly attend the countless Red Sox games and the winter performances of the Nutcracker; to carry a twine-tied box of Mike’s Pastries up the four flights of stairs back home to my un-airconditioned Quad; to stare forever in awe of the unbelievable omnipresence of the Citgo sign; to enjoy all the traditions Boston has to offer; and, especially, to have my fill of the sweet, almost-official, state sandwich.


Sarah Moore is the Assistant Metro Editor for The Heights. She is a Junior, English Major at Boston College. She is proud of her new Brighton address, but not that crazy about her new Brighton landlord. You can follow her on Twitter @SMooreHeights.

April 23, 2014
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Established in 1919 as Boston College’s student newspaper, The Heights has been both editorially and financially independent from the University since 1971. The Heights serves the students, faculty, and staff of the Boston College community, as well as our neighbors in Chestnut Hill, Newton, and the Allston-Brighton area.  

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