Is Fudge a Sweet?
If you've ever had the pleasure of sampling fudge, you'll understand why it's so popular. At the same time, it's difficult to explain exactly how fudge tastes. Rich, creamy and delicious seems like an excellent place to start.
Another area of ambiguity is where fudge fits in regarding the snacks roster. Is it a dessert, treat or sweet? In this post, we'll take fudge back to its basic form and reveal the unique production process and how fudge differs from traditional sweets.
We can't be 100% sure of when fudge first appeared, but there are numerous mentions of it towards the latter stages of the 19th century. While the sweet treat seems quintessentially British, its roots are actually in America.
It's also unclear who created fudge, but written accounts clearly show that it became a popular treat during the 1800s.
A letter written by a student named Emelyn Battersby Hartridge details how she learned about fudge from the cousin of a school friend who sold the delicious treat. After adapting the recipe and selling it on herself, fudge became a staple treat in colleges.
In its early days, fudge required a careful production process. Still, as time went on and people got more comfortable with the ingredients, they began to take shortcuts, which resulted in the fudge we enjoy today.
If you'd like to see two original fudge recipes (one of which is from Emelyn Battersby Hartridge), please click here.
The Growth of Fudge and its Popularity
When it comes to tourist gifts, fudge is up there with toffee and rock in the UK. Towns in the USA also advertise it as one of those gifts you buy for people on your holidays. One reason fudge became so popular is due to its cost-effective ingredients.
College students started the fad, and while items like chocolate were more expensive, fudge required ingredients that most people would have in their homes.
It makes sense that fudge would become a popular tourist treat because it's cheap to make, and producers can add extra ingredients to make their unique brand of fudge.
While many people enjoy eating fudge, in the late 1800's it was tricky to make, so business-minded people naturally began to regard the delicious treat as a money-making opportunity.
Even today, it's rare for people to cook their fudge, especially when plenty of traditional confectioners supply it!
The Production Process
Fudge is incredibly easy to make, which is why it's such a popular treat in the UK. Bakers will mix butter, milk and sugar on a high heat - with chocolate being a popular but not necessary addition.
The mixture is cooked and beaten until it forms a smooth consistency which is softer than chocolate but harder than fondant. As the mixture begins to cool, it's common practice to add vanilla and more butter, but some people substitute the butter for sour cream.
At this point, popular additions including raisins, nuts and even alcohol are added to the mixture, which then goes into a pan to harden. Once it reaches the desired consistency, the fudge is cut into squares.
OK, So is Fudge a Sweet?
Fudge is made from sugar, and it's certainly not a dietary staple. The creamy texture and sugary flavour almost certainly make it a treat, and most would regard fudge as a form of confectionery.
However, it's different from traditional sweets because fudge serves as a standalone treat or can feature in other desserts.
Two classic examples of this are the hot fudge sundae and Cadbury's fudge bars.
Fudge and chocolate are two very different treats, with chocolate having a stiff consistency and fudge being soft and creamy.
Many forms of fudge use chocolate as a base ingredient, but the two should never be confused.
In general, fudge is a form of confectionery and a treat - but some people regard it as a sweet too. Confusing? We know.
The Most Popular Fudge Types in the UK
One of the best things about fudge is how versatile it is. You can add an assortment of ingredients to create unique blends, and confectioners certainly deliver when it comes to weird and wonderful flavours.
It's always a good idea to stock wholesale fudge in your sweet shop because it's a popular gift.
Let's take a look at some favourite flavours.
Basic fudge usually has one ingredient added to the mixture, which creates a subtle flavour. The most popular addition is vanilla, and if you're looking to sample the texture of fudge, vanilla enables you to enjoy the treat without stronger flavours taking over.
Other sweet and simple additions of fudge include clotted cream and coconut.
Chocolate fudge is in a league of its own because - well, we don't really need to explain this one. Fudge and chocolate together is a real treat, and Cadbury's have a signature bar that's been a fan favourite since 1948.
You can get milk, dark and white chocolate fudge mixtures, and the taste can resemble a brownie.
If you're sick of simple flavours, you can sample some exotic combinations that take fudge to a new level. Some popular mixes include mint, orange, strawberry and caramel.
Confectioners also take inspiration from popular treats, so you'll often find cherry Bakewell fudge, bubblegum fudge, and candyfloss.
Novelty fudge is a great seasonal gift, and it adds something unique to the traditional flavours.
Most people are familiar with rum and raisin fudge, but newer combinations include whiskey, vodka and baileys. It certainly makes for a boozy and indulgent treat!
The Wrap Up
So there you have it; everything you need to know about fudge. But the most important thing to remember is that people love fudge. It's creamy, sweet and deliciously indulgent. If you're looking for treats to stock in your shop, you can't go wrong with fudge.Would you like to combine your passion for sweets with business? Check out our post: How to start a small business candy store.