- Dawn Likens
- Fudge from Beale Sweets Sugar Shack
Woodworking, gardening, horses. Everybody has a passion. For Beatrice Bryant, it's fudge.
Thankfully for this self-appointed fudgeologist, her passion is also her career, and she has the opportunity to share this love of butter and cream and sugar with people from all over the globe. Right on Beale Street.
With the help of Beale Street Management general manager Jeff "Goose" Goss, Bryant opened Beale Sweets Sugar Shack at 156 Beale earlier this summer.
"Goose came in Bass Pro, where I was the team leader of the General Store, and he saw all the fudge, and within five seconds he said, 'We need to talk,'" Bryant says.
She was already planning to go on medical leave for a knee replacement, so it was an easy transition from working as a manager at the Pyramid to running a candy store on Beale.
You can't leave the shop without escaping her enthusiasm.
Her newest favorite is Tiger Butter, a basic vanilla fudge in glorious Tiger blue. Previously, she was pushing her caramel fudge, which she nicknamed God's Gift to Fudge — a sort of pralines and cream that comes with the verbal instructions to "shut up and suck."
"You let the fudge melt in your mouth along with the caramel," she says. "Enjoy it, and take your time. It's candy, right?"
Of course, there's more than just fudge in the wood-lined sugary playground. All sorts of old favorites are shelved and stacked and barrelled, including everyone's old favorite — candy cigarettes.
"Everybody asks for those," Bryant says. (I asked about the gum cigarettes. They have the powdered sugar you can blow out like smoke. No, I did not leave with a pack. They were out.)
She has gummy pizzas and gummy sushi and five-pound Rice Krispies Treats and even chicken-and-waffle taffy.
The alcoholic candy is a big seller, and she plans on expanding her line of fudge to include a cinnamon-roll flavor with Fireball.
There are no limits to her fudge-making genius.
Watermelon, Blue Suede Shoes for Elvis Week (peanut butter and banana sandwich, in case you didn't guess), cotton candy (with chunks of cotton candy mixed in the vanilla fudge, which quite literally melts in your mouth).
"Fudge has turned into a huge new life for me," she says. "You can do anything with fudge."
Beale Sweets Sugar Shack, 156 Beale, 528-1055. Hours Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fri. and Sat., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sun., 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Say what you will, but Memphis doesn't stray too far behind what the Yuccies are doing, and the latest in foodie-dom that's sweeping the nation's hip is Thai rolled ice cream.
Originating from street vendors in countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, and the Philippines, the frozen treat is akin to homemade ice cream meets stir fry.
"It's the same style as hibachi," says Bahji Hakimi, who just opened his own Thai rolled ice cream shop, The 901 Scoop, in the heart of the University of Memphis area. "I call it stir-fried ice cream."
Hakimi stands over a frozen griddle, which he keeps at -18 degrees Celsius, and pours over the homemade milk base — a combination of heavy cream, whole milk, dry milk, sugar, and a dash of vanilla, which Hakimi makes fresh every morning. While it freezes, he adds the flavor — buyer's choice of all kinds of toppings, such as candy bars, cookies, fruits, etc., and begins chopping. He then spreads the chopped mixture flat over the griddle, letting it freeze to the right consistency so he can then scrape and roll it into quarter-size rolls, enough to fit in a 20-ounce bowl, to which he then adds more toppings.
The 901 Scoop has a regular menu of five choices of flavors such as Cookie Monster, with cookie dough, Love Ya Latte, with coffee, as well as a build-your-own option and a weekly special.
Last week he had Figgy Fresh on the board, a recipe of homemade fig preserves, lemon zest, cinnamon, honey, and pistachios.
For the less adventurous, or those in a hurry — it takes about four minutes to make the rolled stuff — he has the scooped stuff and shaved ice as well as a Candy Bar Taco, which includes a homemade waffle cone, vanilla bean ice cream, and topped with Butterfinger, Snickers, and Reese's, finished with chocolate or caramel sauce.
Things are going so well, he's had to order a second griddle.
"I knew there was a need for it here. I knew there was a market for it," Hakimi says.
The 901 Scoop, 3536 Walker, 421-5519. Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day.