National Fudge Day
annually on June 16th
Fudge is celebrated today! Fudge is a confection made with ingredients like butter, sugar, corn syrup, condensed milk, marshmallow creme, vanilla, and chocolate. Nuts can be added too. 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. Chocolate is the most common flavor, with some others being peanut butter, marshmallow, rocky road, nut, and maple.
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 used to mean that something was messed up. Fudge likely dates to the 1880s and there are multiple versions of 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. Around the same time, fudge began being sold at shops in Mackinac Island, Michigan. Some of these shops still exist, such as Original Murdick's Fudge. Mackinac Island is now considered to be the world's fudge capital. 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 it today!
How to Observe National Fudge Day
Celebrate by enjoying some squares of fudge! You could make your own or pick some up at a fudge shop. Some shops have deals on fudge in honor of the day. You could also enjoy some fudge cookies, fudge cake, or a hot fudge sundae. Mackinac Island is renowned for its fudge, and if you can't make it there today—to stop at a place like Original Murdick's Fudge—you could plan to visit during their upcoming Mackinac Island Fudge Festival.