National Penuche Fudge Day is observed annually on July 22. National Penuche Fudge Day is one of many national food and drink days.
Penuche (Italian: panucci) is a fudge-like candy made from brown sugar, butter, vanilla and milk. Lighter in color than traditional fudge, the flavor of penuche is reminiscent of maple thanks to the brown sugar. Primarily found in New England where pecans and other nuts are added, especially if making a candy form of penuche. Also found in the Southern United States where it is known as brown sugar fudge candy.
- Penuche is formed by the caramelization of brown sugar, thus its flavor is said to be reminiscent of caramel. Nuts, especially pecans, are often added to penuche for texture, especially in the making of penuche candies.
- It is primarily a regional food, found in New England and some places in the Southern United States, though in the latter it goes by different names, usually “brown sugar fudge candy”.
- Penuche is also used as a boiled icing flavor. Once very popular in Hawaii, its name was localized as panocha or panuche.
- Panocha is said to come from the Spanish word for raw sugar (but also Spanish slang for “vulva”).
- 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.
- Penuche often has a tannish color, and is lighter than regular fudge.
- While classified as fudge because of its similar preparation methods and texture, because of the use of brown sugar in lieu of white, penuche is technically not fudge.