Is Fudge A British Thing?

Is fudge a British thing?

Do you adore fudge? This popular confection is known for its chewy texture and sweet taste. Since its creation, fudge has become a popular candy across the globe. In particular, it has become beloved in Britain.

Though many people assume that fudge is British, this is not the true origin of the treat. While the origin of fudge is a little hazy, it originates from a different country. Continue reading to find out everything you need to know about fudge, including its origin.

Despite its popularity in the UK, fudge does not originate from Britain. Instead, the origins of this confection link back to the USA. Fudge is believed to have first been created in the 19th century.

Is Fudge British?

Many people erroneously assume that fudge is of British origin. This common misconception is understandable since fudge is a popular sweet treat in the United Kingdom. Fudge is widely available in British shops and has become a popular souvenir associated with the UK.

However, fudge comes from the United States. It is believed to have been created around 1886. Recipes started to emerge for fudge in the 1880s, during which these recipes were printed in periodicals. As a result, the fudge craze quickly spread. 

During the 1880s, it became popular to make fudge in women’s colleges. In these colleges, fudge would often be made with a gaslight. Common ingredients would include butter, sugar, and chocolate. Since then, many colleagues have developed unique recipes for fudge.

The trend of making fudge was especially popular at this time in Vassar College, New York. One of the earlier references to fudge was written in the diary of Emelyn Battersby Hartridge, who studied at Vassar College.

By 1887, fudge stores started to emerge. They tended to be found in tourist destinations, like Mackinac Island. It likely became widespread because of how easy it was to make fudge. Unlike other types of confectionery, no specialist equipment was required to produce fudge. 

Interestingly, the term “fudge” predates the creation of this confectionery. As of the 17th century, fudge was used as a term to describe something clumsy. It could also be used as an exclamation to express irritation or annoyance.

Is Fudge Popular In Britain?

Yes, fudge is immensely popular in Britain. It has become synonymous with the nation since it is one of the most popular tourist treats, alongside rock candy and shortbread. British fudge is even sold in other countries. 

In Britain, fudge is especially popular in England and Scotland (Scottish tablet– a great treat). Some of the best places to buy fudge in the UK include Cornwall and Exeter. You will commonly find fudge sold in stores in these cities. Devon is also renowned for its indulgent clotted cream fudge. You are most likely to find fudge sold in seaside towns. 

Fudge has likely become so popular in these regions thanks to its sweet taste. In addition, fudge can be quite expensive to make since it traditionally uses dairy-based products and requires hard labour.

English Fudge vs American Fudge

Is Fudge A British Thing?

The popularity of fudge in Britain has resulted in this nation developing separate fudge recipes. Known as English fudge or British fudge, this treat is noticeably different from American fudge. Here are some of the main qualities and differences between American and English fudge.

English Fudge

The key distinguishing feature of English fudge is that it is firmer than American fudge. When you eat a slice of English fudge, there will likely be crumbs left behind. Additionally, most English fudge recipes will use brown sugar instead of confectioners’ sugar. 

British fudge will typically be sold in stores across the UK. You can also find it in gift shops, which will allow you to buy this sweet treat as a souvenir. Popular flavors in the UK include salted caramel and rum-and-raisin. 

American Fudge

If you like creamy fudge, then American fudge is best suited to you. It has a soft and creamy consistency that many people adore, contrasting with the slightly denser British version. 

American fudge will come in a selection of flavors, though peanut butter, maple, and chocolate are arguably the most common. Often, chocolate fudge is the default in the USA.

Different Fudge Flavors

Regardless of whether you are eating American or British fudge, this sweet treat will come in an impressive range of flavors.

Some of the most popular types of fudge include

Similar Foods To Fudge

Many cultures have foods that are remarkably similar to fudge in terms of taste, texture, and ingredients. This includes:

  • Toffee: Toffee and fudge share many of the same ingredients. However, the main difference between these two types of candy is that they have remarkably different textures. Toffee has a much harder texture than fudge, which tends to be chewy and soft. Traditionally, toffee is not made with milk, but this is a crucial ingredient in fudge.
  • Caramel: Caramel is often confused with fudge. Caramel typically has a larger content of sugar crystals. As a result, the flavor of caramel is typically richer than fudge. Another key difference between them is that fudge has a softer consistency.
  • Krówki: This is a Polish variety of fudge. The name of this fudgy treat translates to “little cow”. Many brands of this Polish candy are sold with wrappers that contain Holstein cows, thus alluding to this name. It is a type of semi-soft candy.
  • Knäck: Also known as Christmas Butterscotch, knäck is a toffee-like confection of Swedish origin. This sweet food is commonly eaten around Christmas. It is often made with golden syrup, cream, and butter.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fudge

What Is The Fudge Capital Of The World?

Many people proclaim Mackinac Island to be the fudge capital of the world. This island, found between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan, is famous for its fudge.

In August, the island annually hosts the Mackinac Island Fudge Festival. During this time, you can eat a wide variety of fudgy treats. 

What Does Fudge Mean In British Slang?

In common British slang, the word “fudge” is used to describe someone or something foolish. Alternatively, it can be used to describe a job that has been incorrectly done. 

Is Devon Known For Fudge?

Yes, the English county of Devon has developed a reputation for its fudge. Fudge made with clotted cream is perhaps the most well-liked treat in the area. In Devon, fudge is also popularly made with jam, nuts, and fruits. 

Final Thoughts

Fudge has a fascinating history that is somewhat shrouded in mystery. Though we do not know the exact origin of fudge, it is clear that this sweet treat originates from America.

Since its creation at the end of the 19th century, fudge has been continuously improved and adapted. It now comes in a wide range of fantastic flavors, making this an irresistible treat.


Hi, I'm Sarah and welcome to Call Me Fudge! From a younger age I've always pottered about in the kitchen and even selling my fudge in the high school grounds. Cooking and baking to me is like second nature and I want to share this passion with you.

Recent Posts