Fudge with hazelnuts on a wooden board
Food - Drink
We Can Thank College Students For Popularizing Fudge
Fudge is a decadent, rich, and popular dessert made usually from a base of sugar, butter, and milk. It was also discovered by accident and popularized by U.S. college students.
In the late 1800s, a young lady at Vassar College, then a women's school, got the fudge recipe and made a large batch of the largely unknown dessert to sell at a fundraiser.
The recipe gained traction at a few women's colleges, such as Wellesley College and Smith College. Female students even made fudge in their dorms to rebel against school rules.
In the approximately 130 years since those days, the chocolatey dessert has become not only popular but beloved.
Many confectioners specialize in fudge, and it’s common to see specialty fudge shops where you can watch artisan fudge makers mix and roll out fudge on wide marble slabs.
Though it’s debatable, it is widely agreed that fudge, as we know it today, was created by mistake when a confectioner in the late 1800s attempted to make chocolate caramels.
Fudge becomes caramel-like in texture if it isn't cooked at a high enough temperature, and it depends on a heat of 232 to 234 degrees Fahrenheit to give it its signature texture.
The 19th century confectioner cooked caramel at too high of a temperature, but made yummy fudge. A student at Vassar got her hands on the recipe, and the rest is history.
These days, fudge is a favorite dessert for many, and flavors go beyond the traditional chocolate. Options include peanut butter, maple walnut, cookies and cream, and more.