Homemade fudge you make yourself or purchase from a vender at a fair or candy shop is a scrumptious treat. Unfortunately, it tends to spoil fast so eating up within the first couple of days of purchasing it is always best. However, you can preserve the shelf life of fudge by a few days by storing it properly.
Image used under Creative Commons from photophnatic
Extending the Shelf Life of Fudge
You can extend the shelf life of fudge by storing it away in an airtight container. Typically, when you purchase it from vendors it comes in a little cardboard gift box with wax paper inside. As soon as you get the fudge home, it is best to immediately remove it from its original packaging and place it into an airtight container or even a sealable zip lock bag to keep air and moisture away from it. You may even want to place a piece of wax paper inside the zip lock bag or airtight container to help keep the fudge from sticking together. Wax paper also helps keep fudge free from moisture.
Leaving fudge in its original packaging will only keep it fresh for about two days before the air gets to it and dries it out causing it to crack and cake, or the humidity in the air causes it to become moist and damp causing it to melt and mush. Fudge always reacts to weather. On hot days fudge should always be stored in a cool dry place like the refrigerator. In fact, fudge in general should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container or sealable bag if you want to maximum the shelf life to up to a week. After that, fudge does begin to lose its flavor and creamy fudge like texture.
You can place your fudge into an airtight container or sealable bag and leave it on the counter top if you do not like your fudge cool and stiffer in texture from being stored in the refrigerator, but remember to store it in a cool dark dry area of your counter top. It is important to keep in mind that even at room temperature fudge can melt or become softer in texture.
Storing away Bulk Amounts of Fudge
If you are storing away bulk amounts of fudge, you have purchased from the fair or have made yourself it is best to place the homemade fudge into sealable containers or freezer bags and store the fudge away in the freezer. The fudge will stay good for about a month this way, but after that amount of time fudge in the freezer will begin to develop a frostbite flavor and begin to crumble and change in texture drastically.
Whenever you want to eat fudge from the freezer you must remove a container of fudge from the freezer and place it into the refrigerator where it takes up to 2 to 3 hour to defrost before you can eat it, or leave it on the counter top to defrost for about an hour. If you leave it on the counter top to defrost you may notice a little bit of moisture collecting on the top of the fudge surface, but the fudge will still be good to eat.
End Notes to Keep in Mind
In general, if fudge is dried out hard and cracked or mushy, melted and slimy in texture it is no longer safe or good to eat. You should toss the fudge out and replace it with new fudge to eat, but just remember too always store your fresh fudge in airtight containers and sealable bags to get the most shelf life out of it. Otherwise, it is wise to eat your homemade fudge up right away. To help prevent from having a bulk amount of fudge left over to worry about storing away properly only get the amount of fudge you want to eat or make up a small batch of it instead. Fudge is always best to eat up the day you make it or purchase it.