If you’re a college student who likes to ~party~ in 2019, you probably gravitate to the same old vices — alcohol, weed, and various illegal substances. But back in the day, college students had one illicit habit that would seem downright childish by today’s standards: fudge.
Yep, college students in the late 19th century rebelled against adults by having FUDGE PARTIES, of all things, in their rooms. The chocolatey substance had just been invented in recent years, Atlas Obscura reports. It caught on with college girls, and the two basically went hand-in-hand. Early recipes called fudge a “college dish.”
At first, fudge parties became popular at Vassar College. Students of the era would sneak fudge into their rooms for late-night feasts, along with other decadent snacks, like fried oysters.
Eventually, the fad caught on at other schools, too. Each women’s college had their own special fudge recipe.
The New York Tribune wrote in 1897 that fudge was best enjoyed when “a dozen or more girls are congregated in a room, sitting on sofa cushions spread out on the floor in a mystic circle around an alcohol stove, from which the odor of ‘fudge’ rises like incense.”
To be fair, these Victorian ladies were not supposed to be gallivanting past their 10 pm curfew at all, so these snack feasts were a pretty rebellious act. Female students were held to a strict standard, and even this mildly improper practice ruffled some feathers.
Meanwhile at boys’ colleges, they were up to the normal college shenanigans, including whiskey and vandalism.