Food & Drink

WTF Is Penuche Fudge, Anyway?

Happy National Penuche Fudge Day! (Wait, what?)

Today is National Penuche Fudge Day. We know what you're thinking: What the f*ck is penuche fudge? Penuche, or panucci in Italian, is fudge made with brown sugar, milk, butter and a hint of vanilla -- but no chocolate. What sets penuche apart from other fudge is the brown sugar -- most fudge is made with white sugar. The brown sugar lends butterscotch and maple tones to this New England favorite, which may be enhanced by adding actual maple syrup in some cases. Penuche can also be made with evaporated milk or nuts, like walnuts or pecans.

In the South, penuche fudge is often referred to as Brown Sugar Fudge Candy, and in addition to making penuche fudge, people also use penuche to make frosting. It may not be the prettiest dessert, but people swear by penuche. Brown sugar is one of those ingredients that can make a huge difference in your cooking and baking. Its dark color and flavor is due to its molasses content -- between three to seven percent, depending on the kind of brown sugar (light or dark). The hint of molasses yields a spicier, richer flavor than regular white sugar.

While the origins of brown sugar-based fudge aren't entirely known, some people believe the idea for penuche fudge came from former Boston Bruins player Mark Penuche in 1924, who had a known love for maple syrup. According to Merriam-Webster, however, the word penuche comes from the Mexican Spanish word panocha, which means raw sugar.

Wherever the origin of penuche fudge may lie, it has become a New England favorite and a staple in fudge stores across the country. In honor of National Penuche Fudge Day, step outside your comfort zone and look past the questionable designation of a food holiday in honor of this treat, 'cuz it's time to try some penuche.

1
Classic Penuche Fudge
Endlessly Inspired
Get the Classic Penuche Fudge recipe from Endlessly Inspired
2
Penuche Fudge With Evaporated Milk
Martha Stewart
Get the Penuche Fudge With Evaporated Milk recipe from Martha Stewart
3
Banana Cake With Penuche Frosting
Food52
Get the Banana Cake With Penuche Frosting recipe by Lindsay-Jean Hard from Food52
4
Pecan Penuche With Chocolate & Sea Salt
Rook No. 17
Get the Pecan Penuche With Chocolate & Sea Salt recipe from Rook No. 17
5
Penuche Fudge With Almond Milk
Pies and Plots
Get the Penuche Fudge With Almond Milk recipes from Pies and Plots.
6
Spice Cake With Penuche Frosting
dramatic pancake
Get the Spice Cake With Penuche Frosting recipe from dramatic pancake
7
Penuche Fudge With Half And Half Cream
Radishes And Rhubarb
Get the Penuche Fudge With Half And Half Cream recipe from Radishes And Rhubarb
8
Pumpkin Cookies With Penuche Frosting
Bunny's Warm Oven
Get the Pumpkin Cookies With Penuche Frosting recipe from Bunny's Warm Oven
9
Penuche With Powdered Sugar
Frugal Antics
Get the Penuche With Powdered Sugar recipe from Frugal Antics
10
Penuche Bars
Tastes Better From Scratch
Get the Penuche Bars recipe from Tastes Better From Scratch
11
Buttery Rich Penuche Fudge
The Culinary Life
Get the Buttery Rich Penuche Fudge recipe from The Culinary Life

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Fudge Recipes