A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 19, 2007
Fluff Duff

"Fluff duff” is “fancy food” in cowboy language. There is a date dish called “fluff duff” that dates to the early 1900s.


15 January 1908, Grand Rapids (MI) Tribune, pg. 3, col. 6:
Date Fluff-Duff.
Stew a cupful of stoned dates in water until tender, then put through a colander. Mix with a cupful of sugar that has been sifted with a teaspoonful of cream of tartar. Beat the whites of five eggs thoroughly with a pinch of salt, and when perfectly stiff add the yolks of two and whip again. Now mix lightly, a little at a time, with the dates and sugar, and place in a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle over the top one=half cupful finely chopped nuts and bake for 15 minutes. Serve with cream, plain or whipped.

Google Books
Cowboy Lingo
by Ramon Adams
New York: Houghton Mifflin Company
2000
original copyright 1936
Pg. 145:
Fancy food, such as the cowboy heard of being served to people of the cities, he called “throat-ticklin’ grub” or “fancy fluff-duffs.”

Google Books
Western Folklore
1949?
Pg. 139:
fluff duff for any fancy dish…

Talk Like a Cowboy:
A Dictionary of Real Western Lingo for Young Cowboys and Cowgirls
by Elizabeth Feagles
San Antonio, Texas: The Naylor Company
1955
Pg. 41: 
FLUFF-DUFFS:  Fancy food not found on a chuck wagon. Fluff-duffs include all manner of “lady-cooking” as well as unavailable luxuries. It might mean the 3-layer cake (Pg. 42—ed.) some girl friend bakes for you or the homemade agarita (wild currant) jelly that the ranch owner’s wife put up.  Also called THROAT-TICKLING GRUB.

Google Books
Eats: A Folk History of Texas Foods
by Ernestine Sewell and Joyce Gibson Roach
Fort Worth, TX: TCU Press
1992
Pg. 102:
Fluff-duffs fancy food

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Monday, February 19, 2007 • Permalink