Katrina Romney has the sweetest job on campus: she’s the Fudge Lady.
The BYU Bookstore has been making its own famed fudge for more than 25 years, and only one person is designated to make the treat that has become a tradition for BYU students, staff and visitors.
Romney, a visual arts major from Lake Havasu City, Ariz., had worked at the Bookstore for almost three years when she was chosen to be the fudge maker last December. Although she worked at the candy counter, she did not know anything about the fudge-making process before then.
“When I worked at the candy counter I was curious. The fudge just magically appeared each day,” Romney said. “I just had no idea how it worked.”
Making fudge requires more manpower than magic, Romney found. Starting during the busy month of December helped her get familiar with the process. Romney uses two large double boilers to mix the fudge and then hand pours the hot fudge mix into pans. The heavy pans are then left to cool.
“I remember one day during Christmas break we had special orders and we were selling a lot in the store,” Romney said. “So I had to make 360 pounds of fudge in one day, which is about 36 pans.”
While that sounds like a lot of fudge, Bookstore supervisor Carol Barber said December is not the busiest time for fudge. The Candy Counter sells as much fudge during Education Week or Women’s Conference as it does during the whole month of December.
The Bookstore knows that many customers plan on taking fudge back to their families at the end of their trips.
“It is a tradition, and people come here to get it and they want it to be the same every time,” Barber said. “We do something unique; we don’t know if it’s because we pour it thicker, whether we spin it longer, but ours is creamier than if you were to (get it from other places).”
The Candy Counter carries eleven flavors year-round and offers one special flavor each month. Barber waits until January for her favorite fudge — Milky Way Dark. The fudge for April is Romney’s favorite: Turtle Cheesecake.
Deena Hastings, supervisor at the Bookstore, says her family doesn’t eat the fudge, they heat it.
“One of our favorite ways that we use fudge is we melt it down and use it as hot fudge on our ice cream,” Hastings said. “When I go home for Christmas, we melt it down and use it as hot fudge.”
Heating or reconstituting fudge that has started to dry out is not difficult and can be done in the microwave.
“You just put a little bit of water, just a smidge,” Hastings said. “Depending on how much you have, start at 30 seconds, go slow and stir. That’s my favorite way to use it. It’s way better warm.”
However people like to eat fudge, Hastings warns against storing it in the refrigerator, which dries it out. The fudge can be successfully stored in the freezer or in a plastic container.