Five Food Finds about Penuche:
- Penuche (Italian: panucci) is a fudge-like candy made from brown sugar, butter, and milk, using no flavorings except for vanilla. Penuche often has a tannish color, and is lighter than regular fudge.
- It is formed by the caramelization of brown sugar, thus its flavor is said to be reminiscent of caramel. Nuts, especially pecans, are often added to penuche for texture, especially in the making of penuche candies.
- It is primarily a regional food, found in New England and some places in the Southern United States, though in the latter it goes by different names, usually “brown sugar fudge candy”.
- Penuche is also used as a boiled icing flavor. Once very popular in Hawaii, its name was localized as panocha or panuche.
- Panocha is said to come from the Spanish word for raw sugar (but also Spanish slang for “vulva”).
Today’s Food History
on this day in…
1376 Rat Catcher’s Day. The Pied Piper got rid of all the rats in the German town of Hamelin. When the townspeople refused to pay, the Pied Piper led all the towns children away.
1461 Charles VII of France was born. His mistress, Agnes Sorel, was a celebrated cook who created several dishes, and had several culinary creations named in her honor.. (Agnes Sorel soup garnish, Agnes Sorel Timbales, etc.).
1822 Gregor (Johann) Mendel was born. Mendel was an Austrian botanist whose work was the foundation of the science of genetics. Working mainly with garden peas (some 28,000 plants over 7 years), he discovered what was to become know as the laws of heredity.
1915 Sir Sanford Fleming died. He devised the present system of time zones while working for the Canadian Pacific Railway.
1956 Curnonsky (Maurice Edmond Sailland) died. At the age of 84, he leaned too far out of his window and fell to his death. French writer, novelist, biographer, and gastronome. Curnonsky was known as the “Prince of Gastronomes,” a title he was awarded in a public referendum in 1927, and a title no one else has ever been given.
1967 The rock group Vanilla Fudge made its concert debut in New York