this post is about fudge, bought in edinburgh and devoured in istanbul. first, let’s deal with the buying.
this fudge was bought in edinburgh, from a little fudge shop called ‘fudge kitchen.’ on the third and final day of my visit to my friend, who is at the university, we went on a gentle stroll down the royal mile, popping into any foodie shops along the way. amongst the abundance of whiskey and cashmere shops, ‘fudge kitchen’ caught my eye and we stumbled in, having already bought hefty tins of shortbread and malt whiskey fudge. before we knew it, we were greeted cheerfully by the very definition of a ‘cheeky chappy’ exclaiming “you too can eat fudge!” and so we did. the love affair started with a salted caramel fudge, which sat temptingly atop the counter of fudges. it was love at first bite.
bashfully my friend and I blushed and smiled and giggled at one another – how were we to get another bite of this glorious fudge without looking like anything other than taster scroungers? this was no problem. before we had a chance to say peanut butter chocolate swirl ‘cheeky chappy’ (what ever his name may be) told us to try his favourite and his second favourite: chocolate orange and dark chocolate and salt. we tried these and we fell deeper in love but we hadnt had our fudge fix. we were both anxiously eyeing up the coconut, deeply concerned that we would leave the shop without having a taste. ‘cheeky chappy’ read our minds and laughed at us for being embarrassed. he wholeheartedly welcomed us to try all the flavours we liked the look of and looked as if he would be deeply offended if we did anything but that. so we followed his order and so it went… slab by slab he reached into the counter for a different flavour, dropping them onto the surface with a satisfying thud before digging his little wooden fork into each to crumble up some chunks for us to taste. then he would gaze up and watch for our reactions, in excited anticipation, knowing they were going to be good ones. when we smiled, he smiled, for all he wanted was for his customers to love his fudge.
before I knew it I was out the door with a 1.2kg box of seven slices of fudge to take to my next destination. and I was very happy about it. my suitcase wasn’t so happy.
now, I am in istanbul, one of my favourite places in the world. but even better, I am not only here, but I am here to meet my new little cousin and what an adorable little bundle of cuteness he is. so, to celebrate the arrival of the little man? fudge, of course! upon arrival, my mum and I scuttled to my aunt and uncle’s flat who were very excited about the prospect of this fudge tasting session we proposed. and so we sat, the little man bouncing on his mum’s knee and the rest of us untwisting wrappers and cutting into fudge: we laughed, we ate and we went back for more. we sat there in sweet fudge heaven – a happy place, let me tell you.
here are the flavours, in no particular order:
peanut butter chocolate swirl: this is what I imagine swirling molten peanut butter cups into chocolate fudge would taste like. the flavour of peanut butter is that american peanut butter flavour that you get from the likes of reese’s and skippy: unapologetically and heavily sweetened and glorious. texturally, the ribbons of peanut butter that ripple through are slightly firmer than the soft fudge, so as you bite through the layers it is an immensely satisfying experience.
mocha choca swirl: for some reason, the squidgiest of them all but no complaints here. it was so soft it could barely peel away from the paper without leaving some sticky remnants. made with freshly brewed strong coffee the coffee flavour is a sweetened bitterness of true coffee. I could now pretend that I am a chocolate and coffee connoisseur and give you some crazy-intelligent-sounding description of the flavour notes (that I would have to google) in each. but, as a girl who has had a few starbucks flat whites and a very good amount of chocolate in her time, what I can tell you with some amateurish confidence, is that the coffee is good stuff and the chocolate is good stuff and the combination of this good stuff is delightful and addictive.
icy vanilla coconut (dairy-free): firstly, its appearance — is beautiful. like untouched snow, it is a pure white. biting into this velvety slab of sweet, fragrant coconut took me back a few years: back to the time before the old mr simm’s sweet shop, in my local shopping village, had closed down and I could wander in to treat myself to a bar of old-fashioned coconut ice. although just as sweet, this almost seems refreshing amongst the others. a brighter and lighter flavour yet with the toffee-like tones of vanilla.
the chocolate ones // dark chocolate and sea salt and chocolate orange: the former feels sophisticated. I never know why but my appreciation for dark chocolate and then also dark chocolate and sea salt always makes me feel a bit proud of myself. like I’m an adult? I like to announce with great frequency that dark chocolate is my favourite kind. this fudge certainly does it justice. the flavour of chocolate is rich and dark and indulgent and is lifted then deepened by the hint of salt. and then the latter, brings me right back to my childishness. in a totally immature review, I am unapologetically just going to tell you that I love this one, ever so much, because it taste’s like terry’s. and that’s all there is to it.
rum and raisin: I love it in ice cream so I’ll love it in fudge. the rum is boozy and after a few chunks you are left with a blushing warmth and jolliness. the raisins are soft yet a nice bit of chew to contrast against the smoothness of the fudge.
but the salted caramel fudge remains tightly wrapped, for this is to come back to england with me and into the hands of my brother. if there’s a chunk missing — he will notice.
fudge for me has never been something I have appreciated enough. I always enjoy it, a lot, when I eat it but it’s never something I think to buy or make, like cake or cookies or chocolate. but having held this ceremonious fudge tasting I have gained a new appreciation. amongst the grander affairs of edinburgh, its mountains and its castles, I suspect it will be this little fudge shop that will be most memorable to me – for its warmth and its welcome.
now there is a large tupperware of fudge slices, sitting on my auntie’s kitchen worktop and I can almost feel the warmth radiating from it. what a comfort it is to know that at any given time of the day, there is some fudge to be sliced and eaten with gusto.
fudge, it has been a privilege to have you around.