Well you can’t go to Mackinac Island without smelling, tasting or purchasing fudge. In fact most tourists are called fudgies- meaning you can’t resist the treat while visiting upper Michigan.
Here’s a fun fact: Culinary legend has it that fudge was invented in America. On Valentine’s Day, 1886, a confectioner and chocolate maker in Baltimore, Maryland “fudged” a batch of French caramels. The delicious result? The very first batch of “fudge” ever.
So you have arrived at the island and what to taste the indulgence. Where to begin? There are 13 fudge shops on the island. They are : Ryba’s, Original Murdick’s,Joann’s, Mays Candy, Sander’s, Murray Hotel and Kilwin’s. Yes I know this is only 7 BUT some of the shops have 2 locations on Main st located at each end.
Which one do you choose? Now I have my personal favorite 😍 That will be another post. But today I am gonna give you a option on how to choose your fudge. This is kind of a game. Now if you are only visiting the island for a day – it can be done but you might not eat anything else because you are full from sampling.
Here is what you do. Starting at 1 end of Main St you go into the first fudge shop you see. Most places will give you up to 3 samples to try. So look at the choices. Pick the 3 you want most and try. Now either on paper or in your phone notes- write the fudge shop name and the 3 samples you tried. Tell them you are staying on the island and most shops give you a % off card to use when you purchase. Even if you don’t use that know they have bundle offers that are great. Be sure to write those in your notes so you don’t forget which shop offers what (and you aren’t trying to remember when you make a purchase).
Ok so you have the first 3 samples written down. Put them in the order you loved flavor wise. Now head to the next shop. Try more samples, write down the ones you tried, bundle options. Continue doing this if you are not full or sugared out 😵💫 so at some point you will be back in a shop you have already gone too (Joann’s, Ryba’s and May’s have 2 locations) that’s great. Because now you get 3 new options to try. Write those down.
What this does is allow you to truly find out which fudge is not only your favorite but also the shop you might like most. Along with trying them it allows you to see if you prefer the traditional or the ones you never thought you would like. There are truly so many flavors to chose from it can be overwhelming. And when you decide the 1/2 lb pound you want to buy you know you will truly love it. This is of course just a fun little game to try a lot of fudge- but honestly I didn’t realize by doing this how I figured out my personal favorite place for this treat. Same can be said for anyone I was with.
Now the shops sometimes have other goodies too. Ice cream, Carmel corn, chocolate dipped varieties and salt water taffy. So if you aren’t a fudgie- know there are great options to consider.
When buying time comes around look to the bundles. Honestly you can freeze fudge. So never think you are buying too much. I like to have some while I’m on the island. This is the one time I don’t worry about indulging in so many sweets 🍫 why? Folks you walk or bike everywhere and burn it off. I remember by 1:00 pm on my last visit I had already done 20,000 steps – plus biked the island!! So yes I treat myself- as you should on this place.
Fudge aroma (and yes horse manure sometimes) is everywhere on Mackinac. I love that this is part of this island. You will too. So try this fun game out- and I will tell you my personal favorite along with my favorite fudge another time 😍