May 12 is National Nutty Fudge Day. There are many stories about how fudge was created. Some claim the first known reference to it was in an 1886 letter Witten by Emelyn Battersby Hartridge who wrote that a cousin of a schoolmate made it and sold it in a store in Baltimore for forty cents a pound. However, the Scots claim they have an earlier reference in a book called The Household Book of Lady Grisell Baillie written in the seventeenth century. You can still buy a reprint of it at Amazon, if this has whetted your appetite, so to speak. A delightful story about fudge’s origins says that a young apprentice caramel maker was left stirring the pot while the boss was out serving customers. By the time he returned, the caramel was so grainy it was ruined – but the customers loved it, and named it Fudge after the apprentice who mistakenly made it. Another is that someone was trying to make toffee, and the heat wasn’t high enough.
Whatever the background, fudge is now a well-loved treat. One of the earliest memories I have of cooking is standing on a stool, stirring fudge as it heated. We always put walnuts in ours, but you can use pecans or peanuts (& peanut butter – yum!) or whatever nut suits your fancy. If you want to make some fudge or just try a new recipe, The Nutty Scoop, has links to such treats as Rocky Road Fudge, Caramel Pecan Fudge, Maple Walnut Fudge, and Peanut Butter Explosion Fudge.
In Europe, fudge is made from just sugar, cream, and butter, but here in the US, we are more likely to add chocolate. Of course!
For anyone who watched the science fiction show Warehouse 13, you will remember one of the questions asked to determine the level of danger was “Do you smell fudge in places where there is no fudge?”
One of the best things I came across while looking up information on this yummy holiday is a cartoon featuring an older woman in a rocking chair, named Aunty Acid. It said, “Life is like chocolate. Sometimes you gotta deal with nuts.” I leave you with that philosophy before adding quotes about fudge.
When I was a child and the snow fell, my mother always rushed to the kitchen and made snow ice cream and divinity fudge-egg whites, sugar and pecans, mostly. It was a lark then and I always associate divinity fudge with snowstorms.–Eudora Welty
Everyone needs fudge, Hildy. It’s how God helps us cope.–Joan Bauer
North America was ready for something other than a vanilla cooking show and we were providing the double dark chocolate fudge.–Nadia Giosia
That pipe just so happens to lead to the room where I make the most delicious flavored chocolate covered fudge.” Then he will be made into strawberry flavored chocolate covered fudge, they’ll be selling him by the pound, all over the world!” No, I wouldn’t allow it. The taste would be terrible. Can you imagine Augustus flavored chocolate covered gloop? Ew. No one would buy it. (from Johnny Depp movie version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
If someone has a lot of work to do, put a piece of fudge in a glass container (so they can see it) and let them know that if they accomplish their tasks, they can eat the fudge. You’ll definitely get a reaction!–Michael Scott
If I were thin, I’d never say ‘I am powerless over fudge.’ a) I can’t believe I actually ever said that. b) Which, of course, isn’t to say that I do have any power over fudge. Particularly if it has nuts.–Camryn Manheim
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