Lemon meringue, orange sherbet, raspberry razzle, key lime pie, cotton candy and watermelon. We might think of these as traditional summertime taste sensations but they are all now featured unexpectedly in fudges.
Maeve Neary, a master baker 40 years in the making, offers her unique take on a timeless favourite.
There’s even creamy caramel and black licorice fudge and, of course, you can’t go wrong with the classics like butter tarts, banana bread, sticky caramel buns, shortbread and chocolates.
“I started just making things for the kids and then through the years I started teaching myself how to make different things,” Neary said.
She’s got 35 flavours of fudge and she includes natural flavour extracts whenever possible, but it’s not going to happen for flavours like cotton candy, she said.
“But whenever I can, I keep it natural,” Neary said.
During our conversation, she was interrupted by a teen holding a lemon meringue fudge packet looking very hopeful.
Once the purchase was complete, he happily skipped away to show off his treasure to friends. Neary smiled as she witnessed the joy her homemade goodies brought to the young man.
“I’m not a professional baker, I just learned when I worked in a camp,” Neary said.
She started off cleaning the camp and when they were short a baker and asked her to step in, she learned on the job.
“And I just loved it,” Neary said. “And then I just started baking as a hobby and kept going.”
As she shared her sweets with family and friends she found people very encouraging, telling her she should sell her goods.
“And now we tend to sell out everywhere we go,” Neary said.
Find Neary and all her baked goods at the Holiday Small Business Fair, Dec. 2 and 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Roll-A-Dome and at the Winterfest Market Dec. 16 and 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Civic Centre.