Happy National Fudge Day! On June 16th of every year, we get to celebrate this sweet fudgy holiday. It’s only proper for us Michiganders to celebrate fudge since we are home to the Fudge Capital of the World!
Did you know that, according to MackinacIsland.org, Mackinac Island produces ten thousand pounds of fudge a year during their peak tourism season? That’s five tons of fudge every year! There are over 12 fudge shops on Mackinac Island, alone, and they make so much fudge that they have to import around 10 tons of sugar per week to the island!
According to a poll on the best-selling fudge flavors hosted by Murdick’s Fudge in 2018, chocolate is the number one favorite Mackinac Island Fudge flavor! Double Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Turtle, and Pecan were also among the top five fudge flavors!
Are you a fudge fan? Then tell us which of those five are your favorite in the poll below! Continue reading for the history behind Mackinac Island Fudge!
In the 1880s, the Murdick family came to Mackinac and opened the island’s first real candy store, however, it didn’t just sell candy… you got to watch everything be made right in front of you! Rome Murdick was the first person on Mackinac Island to make fudge on the marble slabs we are so familiar with. Because of his entrepreneurship fudge-making became a public event and competitors started emerging.
In the first half of the 20th century, the Mackinac Island Fudge business had its ups and downs two to the two world wars and the Great Depression. Because tourism was declining, and the impact from sugar rations some of the fudge shops on the island had to close. And that’s when Rome Murdick and his son, Gould, had to get creative! According to MackinacIsland.org, Rome and Gould “used the kitchen-cooling fans to blow the scent of fudge into the street”, all so they could strum up more business!
After World War II, with the country’s economy taking off and the expansion of the interstate highway system making visiting Mackinac easier, the fudge industry took off again and paved the way for fudge tasting to still be one of the number one favorite activities for Mackinac visitors.