Sunday, December 07, 2008

Christmas Trees and the Fudge of the Gods

We aren't planning on having a tree this year. Why? Well, it's just that it's a damn tough act to follow.

Speaking of tough acts - as you can see, our next-door neighbors have a candy shop. It's not just any candy shop; it's an old fashioned penny-candy shop. Not that you can get anything for a penny these days; even wholesale. But you can find all the old-fashioned things, like Horehound Drops and Sen-Sen.

That alone would be unremarkable; what is remarkable, indecent, sinful and decadent is their home-made fudge. They treated us to a slab of it, maraschino cherry flavored. (They have twenty-odd others.)

Now, you know how it is with fudge. Every one's recipe is different, everyone swears theirs is best and the only proper thing to do is to nod, smile and hide the remains.

Their fudge would be an exception to that rule. Think of a Sees or Lindor truffle. Now think of just the good part, incarnated as a slab the size of your hand. Literally too much for one person to eat at once. So good you will absolutely hate not being able to. Utter, freaking tastegasms!

While Reno, Nevada doesn't make you think automatically of high standards, or excellence in anything - it sets a damn high bar for food in general and desserts in particular. It is, after all, the mecca for white, middle-class, heterosexual sin. :) Eating is the major recreational activity in Reno; my wife and I are still shedding pounds. Ah, the Black Bear Diner, the Peppermill Buffet, the steaks at the Gold Dust West... And the signature desserts of each!

This fudge is sinful enough to provoke exorcisms. This fudge would be right at home in The Peppermill or The Sienna. I'm certain there's not a pastry chef working in Reno that would not bleed for this recipe. Making fudge is easy. But fudge is rather like Go - an hour to learn, a lifetime to perfect.

No, damn it, they don't have a website. I'm pestering them. Meanwhile, I'll take serious inquiries to them. As I said, they are right next door and it's the slow season here in Greenwood. So if you happen to be putting together gift baskets and are lacking that distinctive, memorable item - email me quick.

If you are in Canada, there's still time for sure.

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