National Nutty Fudge Day
annually on May 12th
Fudge is a confection made with ingredients like butter, sugar, corn syrup, condensed milk, marshmallow creme, vanilla, and chocolate. Nuts can be added as well, as they are today, for it is Nutty Fudge Day! The ingredients are cooked and then beaten until soft, creamy, and smooth. The mixture is then poured into a pan and cut into squares. The end result is a confection with a consistency harder than fondant but softer than most hard candy.
Fudge may have stemmed from tablet, a Scottish confection that is harder, not as rich, and grainier than fudge. In the mid-1800s, the phrase "Oh, fudge" was being used to mean that something was messed up. Fudge likely dates to the 1880s and there are multiple versions to its origin. One story says that an apprentice caramel maker was attempting to make caramel while his boss was with customers. He didn't stir the pot correctly and the caramel turned out too grainy. But the customers still tried it and loved it, and it was given the name fudge because its creator had messed it up, or fudged it.
A second story says that a lecturer in Virginia was teaching their students to make toffee and didn't get the temperature high enough and they ended up with fudge instead. They, too, fudged it. A third story was recalled in a letter written in 1921 by Emelyn Bettersby Hartridge. In it, she said she first heard of fudge in 1886 while at Vassar College in New York State, when she heard a classmate's cousin was making it in Baltimore. Two years later Hartridge used that recipe to make 30 pounds of fudge for the Vassar College Senior Auction. Despite the wonder around where fudge got its start, nowadays it can be found the world over and there are many varieties of it. We celebrate the nutty kind today!
How to Observe National Nutty Fudge Day
Celebrate by enjoying some squares of nutty fudge! You could make your own or pick some up at a fudge shop. Mackinac Island is renowned for its fudge, and if you can't make it there today, you could plan to visit during their upcoming Mackinac Island Fudge Festival..