June 16 is National Fudge Day
Did you know that before refrigeration,
homemakers would make fudge as a way of storing extra sugar, molasses, and maple syrup
- Fudge is a type of Western confectionery which is usually very sweet, and extremely rich. It is made by mixing sugar, butter, and milk and heating it to the soft-ball stage at 240 °F (116 °C), and then beating the mixture while it cools so that it acquires a smooth, creamy consistency. Many variations with other flavorings added are possible.
- The components of fudge are very similar to the traditional recipe for tablet, which is noted in The Household Book of Lady Grisell Baillie (1692-1733). The term “fudge” is often used in the United Kingdom for a softer variant of the tablet recipe.
- American-style fudge (containing chocolate) is found in a letter written by Emelyn Battersby Hartridge, a student at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York.
- Word of this popular confectionery spread to other women’s colleges.
- Hot fudge in the United States and Canada is usually considered to be a chocolate product often used as a topping for ice cream in a heated form, particularly sundaes and parfaits.
Today’s Food History
- 1794 The first stone was laid for the world’s largest grain windmill in Holland. Known as ‘De Walvisch’ (the whale), it is still in existence.
- 1855 R.I.P. John Gorrie. Gorrie was received the first U.S. patent for mechanical refrigeration in 1851.
- 1893 R.W. Rueckheim invents ‘Cracker Jack’, a popcorn, peanut and molasses confection. It was introduced at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. R.W.’s brother Louis perfected the secret formula in 1896, which prevents the molasses coated popcorn from sticking together. The prize in each box was introduced in 1912.
- 1903 A one year old company registered its trade name, Pepsi-Cola. It’s original name was ‘Brad’s Drink’ after Caleb Bradham, the pharmacist who developed the formula. He developed the formula at his drugstore in New Bern, North Carolina. I was the manager of the New Bern Golf & Country Club for a while in the 1980’s.
- 1909 Archie Fairley Carr was born. An American biologist and authority on turtles. His extensive studies and conservation efforts helped to increase turtle populations around the world.
- 1937 August Busch III was born, current president and chairman of Anheuser Busch (Budweiser Beer, etc.)