is a type of confection, usually extremely
rich and often flavored. It is made by boiling sugar in milk to the
soft-ball stage, and then beating the mixture while it cools so that
it acquires a smooth, creamy consistency.
American 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 batch of caramels made on February 14, 1886�hence the name
One of the first documentations of
fudge is found in a letter written by Emelyn Battersby Hartridge,
a student at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. 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 pounds of this delicious fudge for the Vassar Senior
Auction. Word spread of this great confection to other women's colleges.
(Wellesley and Smith have their own versions of this fudge recipe.)
Some recipes call for making fudge using marshmallows. It is using the
structure of the marshmallow for support instead of relying on the sucrose
the U.S. is nearly synonymous with chocolate. In fact, the word fudge
is used on packaging of cakes and brownies with "extra" chocolate
flavoring or with fluid chocolate in the mixture. Other non-chocolate
flavors of fudge are sold in the U.S., especially peanut butter, but these
are designated by their flavor while the plain word,
fudge, is understood to refer to chocolate flavored fudge.