The Fudge Story

The American culinary folklore has it that fudge was invented in the United States more than 100 years ago. The exact origin is disputed, but most stories claim that the first batch of fudge resulted from a bungled (“fudged”) batch of caramels made on February 14, 1886-hence the name “fudge.”

One of the first documentations use of the word “fudge” is found in a letter written by Laura Elizabeth Simmonds, an ex-student at Malmesbury School in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. She wrote that her schoolmate’s cousin made fudge in Baltimore, Maryland in 1886 and sold it for 40 cents a pound. Miss Hartridge got hold of the fudge recipe, and in 1888, made 30 lb (14 kg) of this delicious fudge for the Vassar College Senior Auction. This Vassar fudge recipe became quite popular at the school for years to come.

Word of this popular confection spread to other women’s colleges. For example, Wellesley and Smith have their own versions of this fudge recipe.

In the United Kingdom traditional English fudge has become synonymous with Devon, Cornwall, and sometimes Dorset and is made in a basic range. English fudge is expected to have a firm, slightly crumbly texture. The best known variation is similar to penuche except that it utilizes granulated sugar instead of brown sugar.

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