Being BYU’s fudge maker is not just chocolaty happiness. Imagine an arm work out with the chance of receiving 3rd degree burns. “Yeah, it’s not for the faint of heart” says Sam, our in-house fudge maker. Making the famous fudge can come at a cost. When Sam first started, stirring and pouring the thick fudge definitely made her feel like she just had an arm work out. Not to mention the fudge is incredibly hot and requires extra precaution. We received the inside scoop from her on how BYU fudge is made.
It all begins in the basement of the BYU Store at 5:30 AM and continues for six hours until around noon. The moment we walk into the room it smells like what we imagine Willie Wonka’s factory would smell like. From the corner comes the hum of a giant mixer that is slowly spinning, filled to the top with thick chocolate fudge ready to be poured. Each pan of fudge is approximately 10 pounds. During the busiest week of the year Sam makes 74 pans, which equals more than 740 pounds of the coveted BYU treat for one week! When the end of the year comes around Sam can boast that she has made over 10,000 pounds. Despite the early hours and solitude of making fudge, Sam loves her job and loves providing the yummy goodness for guests of the BYU Store. We asked her some questions to learn more.
Q: How many flavors are there?
A: “There are 11 regular flavors. And then I do the flavor of the month. So we have 12 different fudge flavors available each day.”
Q: What’s your personal favorite?
A: “I really like the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel and Cookies and Cream, our newest flavor.”
Q: Who is the most famous person that has indulged in BYU fudge?
A: “We’ve served our fudge to Elder Oaks this year and to Elder Holland. It was a little stressful; I just kept thinking, ‘Give them the heaviest boxes’!”
Q: What would you recommend if you are going to buy fudge for your mom?
A: “Probably the Italian Cream because it’s got regular chocolate with a caramel and vanilla swirl in it. So it’s basic but it also has a little added something”
Q: Do you find that men buy one type of fudge more than women?
A: “Women buy the Vanilla Praline and Peanut Butter more, and the men usually like the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt.”
Q: What kind of fudge would you pick for Cosmo?
A: “One of our flavors of the month. It’s the BYU mint fudge. A chocolate base with a layer of York Peppermint Patties and Mint Vanilla fudge topped with blue and white chocolate candies.”
Q: What fudge is best for birthdays?
A: “Probably Cookies and Cream because it’s an ice cream friendly fudge and birthdays always have ice cream. It’s probably the most cake-like.”
Q: What fudge would you suggest for a break up?
A: “Probably Peanut Butter.”
Q: When you first started was it really hard?
A: “[laughs] Yes, it’s definitely a technique. I really love baking at home, but I’ve never made candy on this kind of scale. So in the beginning the counters were always covered in fudge. … It’s a lot of hard work. Stirring the fudge makes my arms tired.” [Sam has also received serious burns from making the fudge] “Yeah, it’s not for the faint of heart.”
Sam has been our in-house fudge maker since 2014 and really knows all her stuff when it comes to fudge. After taste-testing the fudge, we agree the Sea Salt Caramel is fantastic. Our staff favorites along with Sea Salt Caramel are Key Lime (Flavor of the Month for May), German Chocolate, and Peanut Butter.