Strasburg Candy Kitchen Fudge

American Chocolate Fudge

Many of the world’s favorite sweets and confections have been around for a long time – a really long time. Ice cream, for example, is some 5,000 years old. But fudge – American-style fudge, the kind that contains chocolate – is a relatively recent invention.

A Brief History of Fudge

american fudge brown br A Brief History of Fudge

The rich chocolate treat we have come to know and love seems to have been stumbled upon at the tail end of the 19th century. Some Food Historians claim to have zeroed in on the date, marking February 14th, 1886 as fudge’s official birthday. Sources suggest that Fudge derived its name from the exclamation, “Oh, fudge!” when its creator botched a batch of caramels by allowing the sugar to crystallize.

One of the earliest – if not the earliest altogether – documented references to fudge was found in a letter from one Emelyn Battersby Hartridge, a student at Vassar College in New York.

In the letter, Hartridge noted that her cousin made fudge and sold it for 40 cents a’ pound. Hartridge got her cousin’s recipe and made about 30lbs of fudge for a senior auction. The treat was an immediate success, and caught on as a staple in women’s colleges everywhere.

In the following decade – recipes and combinations of ingredients similar to Hartridge’s own “original” creation started popping up in shops on Mackinac Island in Michigan. To this day, some of those shops still produce products from their time-tested, 19th century recipes.

How It’s Made

Fudge is a version of fondant, although it’s drier than its common, cake-topping sibling. It’s made by boiling sugar in milk and letting it mature to the “soft-ball” stage (between 224 and 238 degrees Fahrenheit).

After that, you beat the milk-and-sugar mixture as it cools. This allows the fudge’s smooth, creamy, melty texture to develop throughout.

The First Fudge Recipes

Strasburg Shoppes Candy Kitchen Fudges The First Fudge Recipes

The first recipes for fudge were notoriously delicate and precise. They noted exceedingly specific measurements, temperatures, cooking times and processes.

Most fudge recipes look pretty simple – a few ingredients are combined, heated and then beaten and cooled. The trick is – it’s easy to overcook or undercook a batch of fudge. You really need a candy thermometer and a determined stirring-hand in order to avoid ending up with “crystallized” fudge through an oversight or over-pause in stirring.

As a result of the delicate nature (and subsequent mishaps) of those original recipes – people started coming up with “foolproof” alternatives that included ingredients like corn syrup, condensed milk or marshmallow cream to prevent crystallization. Some recipes are better than others – depending on the “style” of fudge you’re looking for.

The Candy Kitchen

Come visit the Candy Kitchen at the Strasburg Shoppes. You can order from a selection of boutique crafted fudge creations – all with their roots in the time-tested original recipes of this American dessert classic.

It’s no wonder fudge has caught on as a staple American treat. Come have a bite and see for yourself!

Strasburg Shoppes Candy Kitchen


Grab a bite at the famous Creamery and Deli. Stop by our Country Store and Candy Kitchen for more delicious eats.


Browse our Country Store and Candy Kitchen, peruse our Winery, check out the Bakery, and shop at our Stores.


Spend some time in Strasburg by being our guest at the beautiful and historic Village Inn Bed and Breakfast.