Facebook/ Frankenmuth Fudge Kitchen
Who doesn’t love fudge? This creamy confection is one of the most delicious treats known to man, and thankfully there are still plenty of shops across America that are making it the old-fashioned way, turning out some truly spectacular (and creative) specimens.
Fudge-making is definitely a labor of love. It’s made by mixing butter, sugar, and milk, and heating it until it reaches what’s called the softball stage (about 240 degrees F), then rapidly beating it and mixing it while it cools in order to give it that creamy and smooth consistency. The flavor possibilities are endless.
Fudge’s American roots can be traced to the 1880s, to a shop in Baltimore as well as New York’s Vassar College, where an early recipe caught on like wildfire and is still popular there today. Fudge made its way to the popular summer resort of Mackinac Island, Michigan, towards the end of the twentieth century, where it exploded in popularity, and today it’s essentially what the island is known for, with numerous shops turning out high-quality fudge.
In order to assemble our ranking, we canvassed the country for well-known fudge shops, with help from sources both in print and online. In order to be considered, the shops needed to make all their fudge from scratch by hand (preferably on-premises daily), had to be turning out some creative and delicious fudge varieties, and being a revered local institution certainly didn’t hurt. Many of America’s best fudge shops are family-run, some for generations, but all are making a truly artisanal product with a whole lot of care and love.
Read on to learn which fudge shops are America’s best. From a mother-daughter operation in Oklahoma that’s so popular it’s only open by appointment to several Mackinac Island mainstays, from a Nantucket must-visit to a San Francisco shop turning out some ingenious creations, reading about these shops will give you a serious hankering for some good old-fashioned fudge. Thankfully, most of these places ship!