Lewis Board offers a selection of spicy fudge at his booth at the Scripps Ranch Farmerâ€™s Market. (photos by John Gregory)
You can’t fudge on great flavor
Lewis Board is a funny guy, a memorable guy, a guy who makes memorable fudge. He said he has done some stand-up comedy and used to compete in pepper eating contests. Take one look at him standing proudly behind his booth at the Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market with a twinkle in his eye, and you know all of this is true.
Much like its creator, Mr. Lew’s Spicy Bootleg Fudge has a real kick. Maybe not at first — wait for it. Taste a sample of one of his products, like Spicy Walnut Fudge. It’s a pretty good fudge, sweet and smooth. A few seconds later a small fire will begin to spark at the back of your throat. It’s different. The combination of sweet and spicy is uncommon and a bit foreign to most taste buds. The strange thing is that it’s hard not to want another bite.
It’s not for everyone, but the experience is much like going on a scary roller coaster ride. There’s uncertainty while waiting for it. Then there’s sheer terror while on the ride. Once it’s over and you feel safe again, you can’t resist the urge to do it again.
“I’m kind of a spice enthusiast,” Board said.
Foods using spices such as habañero or jalapeño retain some of the pepper flavor, he said. Board discovered an ingredient that is mostly the chemical component that produces the spicy heat in peppers.
“I found a product that’s almost purely that, no other flavor,” he said. “So, when I add it to things like spaghetti or fudge, it gives it some heat, but it doesn’t take away from the fudge. So, people are eating it and it tastes like fudge. Then, whoa! Whoa! … There’s a little heat.”
Originally, friends encouraged Board to sell his spaghetti sauce which he used to make for charity events, but he figured canning the sauce would be too difficult, he explained.
“About six or eight months ago I made a batch of fudge for friends and everyone was raving about it, and I thought, ‘Now this I could sell,’” he said.
Board described the taste of his spicy fudge:
“It’s traditional fudge with a strong finish,” he said. “It’s just what you would expect from a fudge; a good, rich, creamy flavor, but then halfway into the piece, a little bit of zip comes on; kind of a zippy finish.”
Board was bringing his spicy fudge to pot-luck meals and it became a hit. Some guests would even eat it as a dare, he said. It can be a snack, but it’s great as an after-dinner treat, Board suggested.
“It’s best served about 15-20 minutes out of the fridge, so the consistency is nice, a little softer, a little creamier,” he explained.
Mr. Lew’s Spicy Bootleg Fudge offers a selection of fudge at the Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market. Customers can purchase a 5-ounce bar for $5.
Board’s favorite flavor is the Spicy Butterfinger Fudge, which contains pieces of the Butterfinger candy bar. Civilian Butterfinger Fudge is the same, but without the heat. Board said his Civilian Walnut is his flagship product. Warm Pecan Fudge has some zip, but is a little more mellow. His newest flavor is Peanut Butter Fudge.
Lew’s Private Reserve is traditional fudge with off-the-chart heat. “You can’t handle this fudge,” Board exclaimed.
Reach Lewis Board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market is open for shoppers from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every single Saturday at 10380 Spring Canyon Road, in the Innovations Academy parking lot. Visit srfm.org.