Who is Papa Dave?

Papa Dave with Thomas and Conner

We consistently hear our customers sing the praises of Papa Dave’s fudge. And we get asked alot, "what's the secret?" The truth is, the "secret" isn't so secret at all...

Who is Papa Dave?

Papa Dave is Culinary Apple’s resident Fudge Master, a position he's held for last 14 years. In that time, he's made over 43,000 pounds of fudge. Turns out, if you make a few tons of fudge, you get pretty good at it.

So what's the secret?

Papa Dave: First of all, we use high quality ingredients — I won’t sacrifice taste just to save a couple dollars on a batch of fudge. I use real cream and real butter in every batch of fudge. The real secret, though, is constant stirring, which gives the fudge its creaminess. It’s important to incorporate the sugar fully, otherwise you end up with gritty or grainy fudge, and that is not what people are looking for.

What's Dave's favorite fudge? 

Papa Dave: My favorite has always been Maple Walnut. I like the flavor combination, and the nuts add great texture and crunch. I know my wife Mary likes the Zebra fudge the best.

What is Zebra Fudge?

Papa Dave: Zebra fudge is a unique fudge flavor I developed as something of a happy accident. Our Chewy Praline Fudge is a layer of caramel and pecan sandwiched between two layers of vanilla fudge. And our Caramel Chocolate Nut is caramel and peanuts between two layers of dark chocolate. Well, I accidentally added a top layer of dark chocolate to what was supposed to be Chewy Praline. When we went to cut it, we found my mistake. We decided to sell it, and people loved it! We’ve been making it ever since. That is one fudge we cannot keep on the shelf long. 

What's your most popular flavor? 

Papa Dave: Chocolate Walnut is our top seller by far. I think people just love traditional fudge. I’ve come to realize that most people have a memory of a special loved one who always made fudge for the holidays, and it was usually chocolate walnut. I think tasting our Chocolate Walnut fudge helps to bring back those special memories.

Why do people call you "Papa Dave?"

Papa Dave: Well, when I started making fudge, my first grandson was about two. I was so proud to be a new Papa that it seemed like the right name to give the fudge. My second grandson was born just one year later, and the name stuck. Now, my oldest grandson has come to work with his Grammy and me at the store during his summer vacations. 


JoAnne Strandberg
JoAnne Strandberg

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