As the summer holidays draw to a close, we find ourselves knocking on the door of Autumn. South Devon...
Locally-made clotted cream fudge is a South Devon speciality to rank alongside crab sandwiches and cream teas. The choice for visitors is extensive, both in terms of the varieties available and the number of brands. Everyone has their favourite flavour, and people return year after year to enjoy their customary chunk of ‘cherry Bakewell’ or slab of ‘strawberries and cream’.
We thought we’d weigh into the debate over South Devon’s best fudge by submitting four of the leading contenders to a blind test taste in our Salcombe office. Yes, we know what you’re thinking – it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!
To avoid any chance of bias:
Here are our four contenders for the title of ‘Best Fudge in South Devon’:
Edward Bosworth’s goal is to produce ‘the best type of fudge available to UK consumers disillusioned by the mediocrity of fudge available in supermarkets and on the high street.’ There are now three Edward’s Fudge Kitchen branches, in Dartmouth, Brixham and Plymouth, where the fudge is made on site.
The Dartmouth branch is at 5 Newcomen Road, and in Brixham you’ll find Edward’s Fudge Kitchen at 66 Fore Street. You can also order online at http://www.edsfudge.co.uk, choosing from over 20 different fudge flavours.
Roly’s Fudge is a true Devon success story, which started with one branch in Torquay and has grown to a chain of 29 stores across the country. At the branches of Roly’s Fudge in Dartmouth and Salcombe, the fudge is made on-site in front of customers, qualifying it for entry into our South Devon Fudge-off competition.
There are 15 regular flavours and some seasonal extras to choose from. If you’d like to buy online, visit https://rolysfudge.co.uk.
The Good Intent’s history stretches back to 1928, and when the Dartmouth Ice Cream Company took over the shop in 1929 they decided to keep its traditional, nostalgic feel. You’ll find the Good Intent at 30 Lower Street in Dartmouth, opposite the lower ferry.
All of their fudge, along with their ice cream, is made on site in Dartmouth. Choose from 15 flavours and you can order online here: http://www.dartmouthicecream.com/.
Cottage Confectionary, based in Plympton, make their creamy fudge based on a secret recipe dating back to 1930. Preparation doesn’t get more traditional than the methods used by this artisan producer – the fudge is handmade in a copper kettle, while being stirred manually with an ‘extremely large wooden spoon’!
Their six flavours include some true originals such as Christmas pudding and chocolate orange as well as classics like rum and raisin, ginger and of course vanilla. You can order online at http://cottage-confectionery.com.
Fatal fudge, which is produced in Totnes and sold at Salcombe Deli, was not available on the day of the test.
13 team members eagerly took part in our test taste. The results were remarkably close, and the most striking aspect of the challenge was how many disagreements between voters there were!
There was a bit split between:
All four were chosen as the favourite of at least two voters and the least favourite of at least two. This suggests that, when it comes to fudge, taste really is on the tongue of the beholder. Therefore, the best way to find the fudge you love has to be to taste them all and then make up your own mind.
Nevertheless, by totting up the preference votes of all voters, we were able to arrive at a winner…
… or actually two winners:
These two producers of sweet, crumbly fudge received the same points overall, slightly ahead of the creamy competition.
It seems that, with our panel at least, crumbly fudge gets the nod.
The best of South Devon food extends far beyond fudge of course, as delicious as this particular local speciality is.