Pop quiz, kiddo. Rocky road ice cream or fudge treats: which do you choose? Trick question, because today, Jan. 30, is Rocky Road Fudge Day! Best of both worlds, my friend.
Rocky Road/Fudge History
Rocky road fudge is a candy treat, made in the same manner of your typical fudge, but with a twist on certain ingredients. There are three ingredients standard for this recipe: chocolate, marshmallows, and nuts.
Fudge carries a soft texture. It’s chewy, and if properly stored, can keep for up to a year. The exact origin of fudge is uncertain, but the first record of it dates back to 1886. Vassar College student Emelyn Battersby Hartridge wrote about a classmate’s cousin who made and sold fudge for 40 cents a pound. In 1888, with her copy of the recipe, Emelyn made 30 pounds of fudge for the Vassar Senior Auction, and it’s popularity took off. The cooking process for the original fudge recipes was delicate, involving absolute precision in cooking time and measurements. It was easy to under- or overcook. Home cooking brought about “foolproof” recipes, which use corn syrup to keep the fudge smooth.
Rocky road has a long-standing history as well. The first recipe popped up in 1920 in the 13th edition of Rigby’s Reliable Candy Teacher, published by W. O. and Fred Rigby. The recipe included chocolate ice cream and nuts, but theirs had a topping of honey crème whip, almond macaroons, and a cherry. There’s dispute as to who the inventor of rocky road ice cream is. Ice cream makers William Dreyer and Joseph Edy claim to be the creators, introducing the flavor in 1929. Other sources claim that Melvin Fenton of Fentons Creamery invented rocky road, while others still allege that Dreyer stole the idea from candy maker George Farren. The jury is still out on this one, it seems, but regardless of where it comes from, rocky road ice cream has stood the test of time.
How To Celebrate Rocky Road Fudge Day
They say the proof is in the pudding. Well, today is all about the fudge. Here are some recipes to get you started if you’re interested in dabbling a bit with fudge making: