Every family has their Thanksgiving traditions. Some are sacred, passed down from one generation to the next, while others we just keep doing because no one can think of a better idea. Here are some cool ways to shake things up this Thanksgiving. If trying something new freaks out your relatives, don’t worry–pretty soon they’ll fall asleep watching football and you can do whatever you want.
The main course
Americans eat 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving, but let’s face it: turkey is boring. Too often it’s dry and lacking flavor, so we drown it in gravy to try to make it more edible. Maybe it’s time to start a new tradition by reviving an old one. At the first Thanksgiving in 1621, the Pilgrims didn’t just eat wild turkey. They also enjoyed roasted goose, duck, venison, and fish. Pick any of those for a much-needed change of pace.
I like mashed potatoes as much as anyone, but we all know they aren’t very exciting. Sure, you can mix it up by serving sweet potatoes too, but that still isn’t exactly original. You’ve got your whole family gathered to eat, so why not show off your culinary skills? Try yams with ginger, chile, and scallions or a wild rice salad with dried cherries to give your menu a more unique flavor.
No meal would be complete without dessert. Since it’s the last thing you’ll eat, it’s your last chance to make an impression. Instead of the predictable pumpkin pie, serve Pumpkin Pie fudge. Pecan pie is old school and overdone, but Caramel Pecan Cheesecake fudge puts a fresh spin on things. Both are gluten-free, which makes it easy to accommodate guests with dietary restrictions.
There are lots of ways to breathe new life into your family’s traditions. Why not do something a little different this year? Worst case scenario, your family won’t let you host Thanksgiving again, which might not be so bad anyway.
I was shopping for a birthday card the other day and realized what an irrational tradition that is. Spending $5 on a piece of paper that someone will read once and throw away is ridiculous. Economists have a fancy term for the difference between the price paid for an item and the value of its use: “deadweight loss.” I would imagine that the deadweight loss of a greeting card is very, very close to 100%. Who wants to get a gift that’s nothing but deadweight?
I know, you’re thinking I’m over-analyzing and totally missing the point, but I do get it. The idea behind a greeting card is to let the recipient know you’re thinking of them and care about their birthday, anniversary, or whatever. It’s pretty much become mandatory to celebrate everything with a card, which is great for Hallmark but really kind of silly when you think about it. And of course a lot of people will combine a card with that other generic gift, a bouquet of flowers (which is a whole other rant in itself).
There is another option, though, and it’s one that anyone would appreciate: fudge. Forget greeting cards and just send a box of handmade fudge instead. (We’ll even put a gift tag with your message on the box, so you aren’t missing anything by skipping the card). You can avoid the mall, get free shipping, and you don’t even have to wrap it. Now that’s a gift that’s anything but deadweight.
It’s hard to believe, but summer is already almost over and kids are headed back to school. Back in the day, kids used to take apples to their teachers, but that’s old school–I doubt anyone’s done it in decades. So what’s the modern way to impress a teacher at the start of a new year? Give her fudge, of course. Whether you’re trying to win favor for your darling honor student or preemptively apologizing for your little troublemaker, a box of fudge will definitely help your kid get through the year a bit more smoothly. If you really want to make an impression, get a few more parents to chip in and send some boxes to the teachers’ lounge. Fudge is a great way to show your kids’ teachers how much you appreciate all their hard work.
When fudge was first invented, making it was a popular activity in Vassar College dorm rooms, so bring that tradition to the 21st century. It makes a great gift for college students. Shipping a care package to their dorm room is a perfect way to give them a little taste of home. Sharing some delicious fudge is a great way to break the ice with new roommates and make friends with the neighbors. It works the other way around, too; even broke college kids can afford to send fudge to their family and friends back home.
Thank teachers, cure homesickness, reward good grades–fudge does it all. Add a box to your back to school shopping list!
A great party really only needs three things: good music, a big platter of fudge, and an open bar. We’ve got the fudge covered, so you can focus on the rest of the details. Barbecues, baby showers, company picnics, holiday parties–fudge makes any occasion a little more special.
With more than three dozen flavors to choose from, our fudge is sure to please all of your guests. And since we offer sucrose-free and gluten-free fudges, it’s easier to find something that will suit those with dietary restrictions. A half pound box can be cut into five snack-sized pieces, a pound into ten, and a pound and a half makes fifteen pieces. Make sure to have plenty, though; no one will be satisfied with just one square, especially if you serve lots of different flavors.
Candy buffets are a very popular trend right now at weddings and parties. It’s so easy to do: just fill decorative jars and trays with a variety of candies and let your guests help themselves. You can even pick candies in colors matching your theme, or go for a fun, multicolored array. A candy buffet is fully customizable, so it can be playful or sophisticated, simple or extravagant. Needless to say, fudge is an ideal addition to the buffet.
Why anyone would ever throw a party without fudge is beyond me. Don’t host another event without serving this delicious, crowd-pleasing treat.
The team behind Guinness World Records keeps track of everything. There are more records in the book than you could possibly imagine, including many that you wouldn’t expect anyone to want to hold. I personally have no ambition to grow the world’s longest fingernails or eat 23,000 Big Macs, but it might be cool to break the record for the world’s largest slab of fudge.
The current record is proudly held by Northwest Fudge Factory in Levack, Ontario, Canada. In 2010 they made a slab of fudge weighing an incredible 5,760 pounds! It was made from five different flavors and took five days to make. When the fudge was finished it was cut up and sold as a school fundraiser; each piece included a certificate documenting its record-breaking origin.
Despite being so common in our everyday lives, there’s still a lot of mystery surrounding chocolate. Unlike, say, an apple, most of us don’t really know how chocolate grows or how it ends up in a form we can eat. Chocolate is somehow both exotic and familiar at the same time, which naturally leads to curiosity. Fortunately, scientists are interested in chocolate too and have been able to answer many of the burning questions that chocolate lovers have about their favorite treat. Here are a few of the chocolate myths that have been debunked by experts.
5. Chocolate give you cavities
How many kids have been told by their dentists to lay off the sugar to avoid cavities? While sugar does cause cavities, chocolate isn’t usually the culprit. Research shows that the amount of time food spends in the mouth is much more significant than the type of food when it comes to developing cavities. Chocolate melts away quickly, so it’s far less likely to cause cavities than a piece of fruit stuck between your teeth. In fact, chocolate contains compounds that help prevent plaque buildup and tooth decay.
4. Chocolate is high in caffeine
While chocolate does contain some caffeine, it’s a very small amount. A bar of milk chocolate has about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of decaf coffee–that’s not much. Dark chocolate has a little more, but it’s still not going to give you a buzz.
3. Chocolate causes migraines
Many migraine sufferers blame chocolate for triggering their headaches, but there’s no conclusive evidence that it’s actually responsible. Some people might be more sensitive to chocolate than others, though, so this myth hasn’t definitively been busted yet.
2. Chocolate gives you acne
Teenagers will be happy to learn that the belief that chocolate causes acne is just an old wives tale. Studies have proven that chocolate and other foods don’t increase acne at all. Genetic and hormonal factors lead to pimples, not diet, so teens can eat all the chocolate they want. It might not be good for their waistline, but it won’t affect the face.
1. Chocolate is addictive
Don’t worry, no matter how much chocolate you eat, you’ll never have to go to any Chocoholics Anonymous meetings. Although chocolate does contain chemicals that could be addictive, the quantities are far too small to actually matter. The satisfaction you get from indulging your sweet tooth, not a dependency on chocolate, leads to cravings.
Many candies are strongly associated with particular regions: maple sugar in New England, saltwater taffy on the coast, pralines in New Orleans. Fudge, on the other hand, has spread far beyond its birthplace of New York and can be found all over America, from sea to shining sea. You can eat fudge at chocolate shops, theme parks, church potlucks–I’ve even heard rumors that there are companies selling it online.
It’s safe to say that fudge is equally beloved throughout the country, but there’s a little island in northern Michigan that takes great pride in its special devotion to fudge. Mackinac Island has been known for its outstanding fudge for more than a century. This rich history started when Harry Murdick and his son opened a candy shop in 1887. They put their marble cooling slabs in the front window and used fans to blow the irresistible aroma of fresh fudge into the streets. Imitators soon followed, but Murdick’s was the only shop to survive the Great Depression. The 1950s brought a new wave of tourists and new prosperity to Mackinac Island. Today there are no fewer than fifteen stores producing their own version, which seems like a lot when you consider that the island’s year-round population is less than 500 people, but they’re feeding the insatiable appetites of the 15,000 tourists who visit the island every day in the summer. In Michigan these tourists are often called “Fudgies,” for obvious reasons. It’s not unusual for friends to request fudge when they find out someone is planning a trip to Mackinac Island, nor is it unusual to debate which of the many shops does it best. True fudge fanatics visit during the annual Mackinac Island Fudge Festival in August, when they can enjoy special events and a surprising variety of fudge-inspired cocktails. Fudge is popular everywhere, but Mackinac Island definitely takes it to a new level.
When asked to define fudge, most people will think of the smooth, creamy, slightly soft chocolate confection that their grandma made (and that you’ll find on our site). This kind of fudge is a uniquely American invention, and a relatively new one at that; the oldest known recipe dates to the 1880s. But there are quite a few other candies that resemble fudge, with origins all over the world.
The Scottish have been making a candy called tablet for more than 300 years. The ingredients are very similar to an old-fashioned fudge recipe: sugar, condensed milk, and butter. Everything is boiled together, then poured into a pan and allowed to set. Like fudge, tablet depends on the crystallization of the sugar to become firm. Also like fudge, tablet can be a miserable failure if you don’t do it perfectly. Tablet is usually harder than fudge and has a somewhat gritty, crumbly texture. The flavor is kind of like butterscotch. Some people like to add vanilla, nuts, or even whiskey, while others find any deviation from the basic recipe blasphemous. If you make it yourself, you can stir in whatever you want. As long as there aren’t any Scots around you can probably get away with it.
A version of tablet made with golden syrup (which is like corn syrup, but made from sugar instead of corn) is called Russian fudge, but it’s actually Scottish too. Don’t ask me why that little bit of golden syrup makes it Russian, but apparently it makes a difference. Note that neither recipe contains any chocolate.
Sucre à la crème, which translates to “sugar with cream,” is a traditional French-Canadian form of fudge. It’s a lot like the Scottish tablet, except that it’s made with brown sugar. Many cooks add maple syrup–a very Canadian ingredient. Sucre à la crème is popular in Quebec, especially around Christmas, but you probably won’t see it anywhere else. If you want to make your own, here’s a typical recipe.
In the Dominican Republic you’ll find a treat called dulce de leche en tabla. Dulce de leche is made in many parts of South America, Mexico, and Latin America, but it’s usually more like pudding or sauce than fudge. In some regions, though, it’s cooked longer to create a firmer candy that can be cut into squares. It has a very sweet caramel flavor; it’s also common to add cinnamon. Dulce de leche en tabla can be eaten plain or topped with jam. Want to try it at home? Check out this recipe.
Many countries have their own versions of fudge and I’m sure there are lots that I haven’t mentioned. Leave a comment telling me which of your favorites I left out! So far, though, I haven’t seen any foreign recipes that include chocolate. That’s an American innovation, and I think it’s one we can all be proud of.
The success of your business depends on so many people: your employees, clients, vendors, consultants, and investors, to name a few. Why not show them how much you appreciate all their hard work and loyalty with a thoughtful gift? Instead of another boring paper weight or tote bag, send a unique gift that will impress and delight the recipients. Our fudge is guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face. They’re sure to remember–and talk about–both the gift and the giver long after every last morsel is gone.
We make corporate gifts simple. All you have to do is place the order–we’ll take it from there. We ship the fudge directly to the recipient’s home or office. It will arrive in a handsome gold box with a personalized gift tag, allowing you to include your message. With delicious fudge starting at just $14.99, it’s easy to stay within your budget while still delivering a high-quality gift.
Whether you want to thank one important client or reward your entire staff, fudge is the ideal way to do it. A half pound box is great for an individual or small group, while the pound or 1.5 pound sizes can be shared by up to fifteen people. If you send a bouquet of flowers to an office they’ll look nice for a day or two, but how much will anyone really care about them? Sending fudge creates an experience that the whole office will enjoy and is a surefire way to boost morale.
If you would like more information or are ready to place a corporate gift order, feel free to contact us.
Let’s face it: fudge isn’t exactly a health food. Most people can enjoy it as an occasional treat, but our diabetic customers have to be more careful. Fortunately, they don’t have to miss out on anything; we offer several sucrose-free varieties that are suitable for most diabetics. (If you’re unsure whether sucrose-free fudge is appropriate for your dietary needs, discuss it with your doctor. His opinion is worth a lot more than mine.) The diabetic population is rapidly growing, so we’re pleased to be able to offer a quality product that can let them indulge without affecting their health.
Our sucrose-free flavors are sweetened with isomalt and fructose instead of sugar. Isomalt is a sugar alcohol derived from beets. Unlike many other sugar substitutes, it doesn’t have a chemically flavor or strange aftertaste. Fructose is a natural fruit sugar that doesn’t raise blood glucose levels as sharply as regular sugar. Because fructose is a form of sugar, our sucrose-free fudges aren’t technically sugar-free. However, diabetics who can eat fruit are also generally able to tolerate the fructose in our fudge. Sucrose-free fudge isn’t low-carb or low-calorie.
By now you’re probably wondering if I’m going to answer the big question: “Is sucrose-free fudge as good as the normal version?” Because the ingredients are so different it isn’t really fair to compare the two. Sucrose-free fudge isn’t quite as creamy, but we use the same flavorings for all of our fudges, so the taste is practically identical. Our customers’ feedback has been quite positive. I’m often told that many sugar-free chocolate, candies, and desserts just aren’t very good and that our sucrose-free fudge is a great alternative. Diabetics hoping to satisfy their sweet tooth are sure to enjoy a piece of sucrose-free fudge.