What Is The Difference Between British And American Fudge?

What is the difference between British and American fudge?

Did you know that, depending on where you are in the world, fudge as you know it may be considered to be something completely different?

While there’s, technically, no such thing as British or American fudge, there are quite a few differences between the fudges found in the US and the UK that make them seem as if they are completely different types of candy.

If you want to learn more about the differences between so-called British fudge and American fudge, look no further. In this article, we will look at what sets these two treats apart, and where the dessert originated from initially.

So, let’s jump straight into it. Here are the differences between British and American fudge.

A Brief History Of Fudge

According to history, the word ‘fadge’, which meaning ‘to fit together in a sloppy fashion’, is where the name ‘fudge’ first appeared in the 17th century.

Throughout this time, fudge was employed as a means of exclamation by sailors to retort to gibberish or false statements.

Some individuals still use the word ‘fudge’ in a similar way today; they will sometimes say ‘oh, fudge’ instead of the f-word when they make a mistake.

This adage stretches all the way back to the seventeenth century.

Rumor has it that one of the first persons to make fudge hurt themselves while making it, possibly by burning themselves on the boiling liquid.

This is how the word ‘fudge’ came to be. It has been claimed that the chef’s alleged injury-related utterance of ‘oh fudge’ is how the dessert got its name back.

Yet, this rumor has not been verified and is thought to be more of a piece of folklore than genuine fact.

In the United States, fudge became popular as a treat in the late 19th century. In the 1880s, fudge formula printings appeared in numerous journals and advertisements.

This dessert became loved among consumers looking for a substitute that lay between pricey chocolates and inexpensive candies due to its affordable, unpolished characteristics.

The appeal for fudge increased as specialist fudge shops started popping up in tourist hotspots, which was partly attributed to the convenience with which it could be produced from home by regular people using standard tools.

Moreover, production expenses were reduced at the time due to the falling price of granulated white sugar.

The Traditional Recipe For Fudge

The original recipe for fudge is incredibly simple, only using everyday ingredients that most people in the 17th century would have already kept stored in their kitchen cupboards.

This is why it was so popular; it was cheap to make, and simple to create.

The only ingredients used were granulated sugar, milk, condensed milk, and butter, with a small pinch of salt. Some people preferred to use brown sugar, but the original recipe called for white sugar.

Find out the different types of ingredients that can be used to make fudge here.

What Is American Fudge?

Fudge, as we mentioned earlier, is an American invention.

However, today, American fudge is usually very different from the original confectionary that was initially created and served back in the late 19th century.

American citizens will associate fudge with one particular flavor: chocolate. This is because, in America, fudge is almost always made from, and flavored with, chocolate.

If you were to seek out some fudge in the US today, it would be fairly difficult to find some old-fashioned fudge that sticks to the original recipe.

Think about hot fudge, for example. This sweet sauce has also been around since the late 19th century, but despite its name, it does not resemble fudge in the slightest.

What Is The Difference Between British And American Fudge?

It is, instead, a hot chocolate sauce with a delightful thick and gooey texture.

A hot fudge sundae does not contain the word ‘chocolate’ in the title, yet the majority of people worldwide will recognize this dessert as a primarily chocolate-covered ice cream sundae.

Why do we not call it a ‘hot chocolate fudge sundae’?

Well, because the US considers fudge to be chocolate-flavored, so the distinction does not need to be made.

Another example would be the chocolate fudge brownie. While this dessert does include the word ‘chocolate’ in the title, it could be stated that there is actually no fudge to be found in the recipe. Instead, it is a soft brownie packed with a gooey chocolate sauce. 

This does not mean that you cannot locate and purchase some ‘real’ fudge in the US, however. It is still being made and sold, but it is less popular than the chocolate-flavored variety.

Therefore, most people consider ‘American’ fudge to be flavored with chocolate.

To find out more about the differences between fudge and chocolate, check out our blog post!

What Is British Fudge? 

It would be expected, since fudge originated in the US, that it would be the other countries in the world that experimented with the ingredients and created a different version of the dessert.

Strangely, the exact opposite has occurred over the years.

In the UK, fudge is typically manufactured using the original recipe.

It is possible to seek out chocolate fudge if you look in the right places, but overall, British fudge follows the original recipe of brown sugar, milk, condensed milk, and butter. 

If you walked into a candy store in Britain – or, as it is called over there, a sweet shop – and asked for some fudge, you should expect to be handed some old-fashioned, tan-colored fudge

However, hot fudge sundaes and chocolate fudge brownies are also popular in the UK, and are known as the same names. These desserts are, however, considered to be American treats.

Most British people will not think of fudge as being chocolate-flavored (although, as we said earlier, it is possible to find chocolate-flavored fudge in some places).

Is Scottish Tablet A Type Of ‘British Fudge’?

Scottish tablet is a British treat that’s frequently confused with fudge. Scottish tablet may initially resemble fudge, however it is immediately apparent how it varies from fudge after taking a taste.

In contrast to the chewy, soft texture of fudge, this confection has a granular, melt-in-your-mouth feel and a richness that makes it truly unique.

Fudge and Scottish tablet are both created in a comparable pattern, which is accomplished by boiling sugars and working hard to attain a thickening point. 

However, it is the liquid ingredient used in the tablet composition that changes everything.

Scottish tablet is created using condensed milk as opposed to double or clotted cream, which is how fudge is often produced.

While the cream is what gives typical fudge its softer texture, the condensed milk gives Scottish tablet a tougher, more crumbly consistency.

The traditional fudge recipe also used condensed milk, but the way that Scottish tablet is cooked ensures that it has a grainer, less smooth consistency in comparison.

Therefore, Scottish tablet should not really be considered a type of fudge, because it’s not.

Despite this, a lot of people – even those living in the UK – find themselves confusing the two sweet treats due to their appearance.

Final Thoughts

Despite the fact that fudge was first produced in the US, American society has largely abandoned the original recipe.

Instead, American fudge has an entirely different texture and is frequently flavored with chocolate.

British fudge, on the other hand, largely adheres to the original recipe.

The fact that so-called British fudge is created using the same recipe as the original US recipe, while American fudge is almost entirely different, is actually pretty ironic.

We hope you found this article helpful.


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.

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