Chocolate Fudge

Chocolate fudge in a metal pan
Chocolate fudge in a metal pan

Though fudge is an American creation, it is a part of my family's story of immigration and assimilation into the United States. According to my grandma, my great-grandmother likely learned this recipe from her mother-in-law, who was an immigrant from Germany in the 1830s. My grandma said that her mother, whose family was Dutch and Irish, learned most of her recipes from her mother-in-law. Her family lived in Indiana, where my family lives until this day, though I go to college in Pennsylvania. My great-great-grandmother likely learned the recipe sometime as she was adjusting to life in the United States, and my family has enjoyed it for generations. My mom’s side of the family has not maintained a close connection to their European heritage, and most of the food that my family cooked at home would be considered American fare. I believe that learning recipes for American foods was a way that my mom’s side of the family assimilated into American culture. My great-great grandparents were Catholic at the time of their immigration, and my grandmother has told me stories about being denied jobs in the 1950s due to her religion. I speculate that my great-great grandparents wanted to find ways to assimilate, and food was one way they could try to fit in. My great grandparents stopped speaking German at the start of World War I because they wanted to be perceived as true Americans, so cooking American food, such as fudge, would be one such way of participating in American culture.  

Place(s): Germany, Indiana

– Alex Furgeson

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more