It's 7-Eleven Day! Celebrate With a Free Slurpee

7-Eleven
7-Eleven

7-Eleven is once again inviting you to celebrate July 11 with a free small Slurpee, which you can grab at any participating store across the nation today from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (See what they did there?)

This year’s featured flavor is Blueberry Lemonade, and the Slurpee Lite flavor is sugar-free Cherry Limeade. The Slurpees come in bright, festive cups optimized for social media posts: They're decorated with a hammerhead shark who is not only wearing a birthday hat, but also carrying balloons and a banner that reads “#SLURPLIFE.” The cup also includes “#TFW,” which stands for “that feeling when…,” as in “TFW you get a free Slurpee on #7ElevenDay.”

Along with those three hashtags, you can also add specialized GIFs and digital stickers to your Slurpee-related posts on Snapchat and Instagram, including cheerleader squirrels and hula skirt-clad oranges. 7-Eleven will also give away physical stickers in the store with your free drink. A $4 Twist & Slurp Bottle and a $2 Super Flexy Straw can take your free Slurpee to the next level.

Happy 7-Eleven Day image with Slurpee
7-Eleven

If you’re a member of the 7-Eleven loyalty program 7Rewards, be sure to scan your app or card (or enter your phone number) when you pick up your free Slurpee today. You’ll get a coupon for another free small Slurpee, which you can redeem any time in the next 30 days. If you’re not a 7Rewards member, today may be a good day to sign up.

For those of you who might like dinner before dessert—or at least with dessert—there are also 7-Eleven Day food deals: Big Bite hot dogs and hot pizza slices are $1 each, and 7Rewards members can open their app to reveal a $1 Nashville hot chicken tender offer. If you just want dessert with your dessert, freshly baked cherry Slurpee-flavored cookies are also $1 each today.

The convenience retailer estimates that it will give away 9 million free small Slurpees today, and has sold over 7.5 billion Slurpees since the drink was officially introduced in the 1960s.

If you can’t make it to 7-Eleven today, there’s hope for you yet: Tomorrow, July 12, you can place an order in 7-Eleven’s delivery app 7NOW and receive a free medium Slurpee.

Happy slurping!

[h/t 7-Eleven]

Really Fast Food: The 10 Fastest Drive-Thru Restaurants

booker5m/iStock via Getty Images
booker5m/iStock via Getty Images

Drive-thru restaurant service is getting slower—at least, that’s what a study from QSR Magazine seems to suggest.

According to data gathered from 1503 visits to fast food restaurants around the country, drive-thru service in 2019 takes about 20 seconds longer than it did in 2018. From the time customers pull up to the speaker to the time they arrive at the order window, they spend an average of 255 seconds waiting for their food.

That could be due in part to the rise of mobile ordering, QSR reports. Many fast food chains are still grappling with how to best incorporate mobile orders into their regular business plans. On top of that, menu items are getting more inventive, more high-quality, and more complicated for employees to prepare.

“We know we’ve got very complex menu items, and our guests are demanding those, so we have to make sure that the engine that we build in our kitchen is able to execute them in a very efficient way,” John Kelly, the chief operating officer of Arby’s, said.

That said, here are the 10 speediest fast food restaurants in the United States, ranked by average length of service.

  1. Dunkin’ Donuts (216.75 seconds)

  1. Wendy’s (230.38 seconds)

  1. Burger King (235.48 seconds)

  1. Taco Bell (240.38 seconds)

  1. Carl’s Jr. (240.51 seconds)

  1. KFC (243.73 seconds)

  1. Arby’s (263.46 seconds)

  1. Hardee’s (266.34 seconds)

  1. McDonald’s (284.05 seconds)

  1. Chick-fil-A (322.98 seconds)

The Gooey History of the Fluffernutter Sandwich

bhofack2/iStock via Getty Images
bhofack2/iStock via Getty Images

Open any pantry in New England and chances are you’ll find at least one jar of Marshmallow Fluff. Not just any old marshmallow crème, but Fluff; the one manufactured by Durkee-Mower of Lynn, Massachusetts since 1920, and the preferred brand of the northeast. With its familiar red lid and classic blue label, it's long been a favorite guilty pleasure and a kitchen staple beloved throughout the region.

This gooey, spreadable, marshmallow-infused confection is used in countless recipes and found in a variety of baked goods—from whoopie pies and Rice Krispies Treats to chocolate fudge and beyond. And in the beyond lies perhaps the most treasured concoction of all: the Fluffernutter sandwich—a classic New England treat made with white bread, peanut butter, and, you guessed it, Fluff. No jelly required. Or wanted.

 

There are several claims to the origin of the sandwich. The first begins with Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere—or, not Paul exactly, but his great-great-great-grandchildren Emma and Amory Curtis of Melrose, Massachusetts. Both siblings were highly intelligent and forward-thinkers, and Amory was even accepted into MIT. But when the family couldn’t afford to send him, he founded a Boston-based company in the 1890s that specialized in soda fountain equipment.

He sold the business in 1901 and used the proceeds to buy the entire east side of Crystal Street in Melrose. Soon after he built a house and, in his basement, he created a marshmallow spread known as Snowflake Marshmallow Crème (later called SMAC), which actually predated Fluff. By the early 1910s, the Curtis Marshmallow Factory was established and Snowflake became the first commercially successful shelf-stable marshmallow crème.

Although other companies were manufacturing similar products, it was Emma who set the Curtis brand apart from the rest. She had a knack for marketing and thought up many different ways to popularize their marshmallow crème, including the creation of one-of-a-kind recipes, like sandwiches that featured nuts and marshmallow crème. She shared her culinary gems in a weekly newspaper column and radio show. By 1915, Snowflake was selling nationwide.

During World War I, when Americans were urged to sacrifice meat one day a week, Emma published a recipe for a peanut butter and marshmallow crème sandwich. She named her creation the "Liberty Sandwich," as a person could still obtain his or her daily nutrients while simultaneously supporting the wartime cause. Some have pointed to Emma’s 1918 published recipe as the earliest known example of a Fluffernutter, but the earliest recipe mental_floss can find comes from three years prior. In 1915, the confectioners trade journal Candy and Ice Cream published a list of lunch offerings that candy shops could advertise beyond hot soup. One of them was the "Mallonut Sandwich," which involved peanut butter and "marshmallow whip or mallo topping," spread on lightly toasted whole wheat bread.

 

Another origin story comes from Somerville, Massachusetts, home to entrepreneur Archibald Query. Query began making his own version of marshmallow crème and selling it door-to-door in 1917. Due to sugar shortages during World War I, his business began to fail. Query quickly sold the rights to his recipe to candy makers H. Allen Durkee and Fred Mower in 1920. The cost? A modest $500 for what would go on to become the Marshmallow Fluff empire.

Although the business partners promoted the sandwich treat early in the company’s history, the delicious snack wasn’t officially called the Fluffernutter until the 1960s, when Durkee-Mower hired a PR firm to help them market the sandwich, which resulted in a particularly catchy jingle explaining the recipe.

So who owns the bragging rights? While some anonymous candy shop owner was likely the first to actually put the two together, Emma Curtis created the early precursors and brought the concept to a national audience, and Durkee-Mower added the now-ubiquitous crème and catchy name. And the Fluffernutter has never lost its popularity.

In 2006, the Massachusetts state legislature spent a full week deliberating over whether or not the Fluffernutter should be named the official state sandwich. On one side, some argued that marshmallow crème and peanut butter added to the epidemic of childhood obesity. The history-bound fanatics that stood against them contended that the Fluffernutter was a proud culinary legacy. One state representative even proclaimed, "I’m going to fight to the death for Fluff." True dedication, but the bill has been stalled for more than a decade despite several revivals and subsequent petitions from loyal fans.

But Fluff lovers needn’t despair. There’s a National Fluffernutter Day (October 8) for hardcore fans, and the town of Somerville, Massachusetts still celebrates its Fluff pride with an annual What the Fluff? festival.

 

"Everyone feels like Fluff is part of their childhood," said self-proclaimed Fluff expert and the festival's executive director, Mimi Graney, in an interview with Boston Magazine. "Whether born in the 1940s or '50s, or '60s, or later—everyone feels nostalgic for Fluff. I think New Englanders in general have a particular fondness for it."

A Fluffernutter sandwich
bhofack2/iStock via Getty Images

Today, the Fluffernutter sandwich is as much of a part of New England cuisine as baked beans or blueberry pie. While some people live and die by the traditional combination, the sandwich now comes in all shapes and sizes, with the addition of salty and savory toppings as a favorite twist. Wheat bread is as popular as white, and many like to grill their sandwiches for a touch of bistro flair. But don't ask a New Englander to swap out their favorite brand of marshmallow crème. That’s just asking too Fluffing much.

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