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Seaport Fudge Factory has kept dentists in business for 30 years

Lumps of chocolate only the tip of the decadently sweet iceberg

The "Mickey Mouse" cone, featuring red chocolate dipped cone and Oreo ears
The "Mickey Mouse" cone, featuring red chocolate dipped cone and Oreo ears

I’ve photographed burritos, dumplings, and egg rolls, but probably the most challenging photo I’ve ever tried to take centered on a lump of fudge. I’d ordered the rocky road flavor, hoping that the large, white marshmallow at the fudge’s center would provide eye-pleasing contrast. I’d counted on the wave of chocolate, folded over the top when it hardened, to frame the piece like a pompadour. Two dozen, three dozen snaps, and not a one could find focus. However rich and sweet that $6.50 piece of fudge might taste, I could not find a way to make it photogenic.

Place

Seaport Fudge Factory

859 W Harbor Dr, San Diego

But that’s okay. Seaport Fudge Factory offers other sweet treats designed to pop on camera.

The waterfront dessert shop has had three decades to figure this out. Established in 1991, the Seaport Village mainstay is celebrating 30 years in business. And though the Fudge Factory lives up to its name with decadent, buttery fudge, most of its offerings these days are more colorful, and hold a relatively well-defined shape. At the top of the list has to be the Mickey Mouse ice cream cone.

Bear in mind, for some length of its tenure, the Fudge Factory has shared its duplex shack with a Ben & Jerry’s franchise, so I’ve got to assume most Seaport visitors craving ice cream look right past it, whether tourists or staycationing locals. But take a closer look at the family-owned Fudge Factory, and you’ll notice plenty of soft serve ice cream options, including a Belgian waffle topped with a swirl of chocolate-dipped soft serve surrounded by Oreo crumbles. Consider it a ten-dollar sugar crash waiting to happen.

A little dessert shop in Seaport Village celebrates 30 years.

Much cuter is the Mickey Mouse cone ($9.50), which for starters has been dipped in red chocolate (rather, a red-colored white chocolate — or pink chocolate, should you prefer a Minnie Mouse cone). A pair of yellow M&Ms front the cone — either representing Mickey’s iconic yellow buttons, or his eyes, I’m not sure. Easier to figure are the Oreo cookies propped up on either side of the soft serve, forming the cartoon character’s famously round ears.

Think what you will about the pricey cone: I have no doubt it makes a more memorable treat than any amount of Chubby Hubby.

Chocolate-dipped soft serve ice cream atop a Belgian waffle with chocolate syrup and Oreo crumbles

For those neither feeling ice cream nor fudge, a third option delivers a bit of fruity fiber on a stick. I’m accustomed to candied apples coated in caramel, and nothing short of the county fair could have prepared me for the ways a tart, green apple could be made implausibly sweet. They dip it in caramel, sure, but then, when that dries, they dip it in white chocolate. And then, before that dries, they stick it in a pile of something crunchy. Crushed peanuts would be one example. Fruity Pebbles cereal would be another.

Inevitable, one of the kids tagging along for my fudged-up photo excursion had eyes only for that rainbow-colored feast.

“Would you like me to cut that up for you?” the woman working the counter asked.

A candied apple dipped in caramel, white chocolate, and Fruity Pebbles breakfast cereal

“No way,” I replied. Candied apples are meant to be eaten on a stick, I reasoned. And besides, I needed a good photo subject to get around that fudge.

Well, I got my photo, but we learned a valuable lesson: say yes next time. The first bite of a large, crisp apple is tough enough without having to break through two layers of sweet treat, and a coating of sugary breakfast cereal. The kid sure couldn’t do it, and my attempts didn’t fare any better. My apologies to the Seaport Village custodial staff for the mess we made. I hope they blamed tourists.

Seaport Fudge Factory celebrates its anniversary with a free luau on August 29, from 5-8pm.

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The "Mickey Mouse" cone, featuring red chocolate dipped cone and Oreo ears
The "Mickey Mouse" cone, featuring red chocolate dipped cone and Oreo ears

I’ve photographed burritos, dumplings, and egg rolls, but probably the most challenging photo I’ve ever tried to take centered on a lump of fudge. I’d ordered the rocky road flavor, hoping that the large, white marshmallow at the fudge’s center would provide eye-pleasing contrast. I’d counted on the wave of chocolate, folded over the top when it hardened, to frame the piece like a pompadour. Two dozen, three dozen snaps, and not a one could find focus. However rich and sweet that $6.50 piece of fudge might taste, I could not find a way to make it photogenic.

Place

Seaport Fudge Factory

859 W Harbor Dr, San Diego

But that’s okay. Seaport Fudge Factory offers other sweet treats designed to pop on camera.

The waterfront dessert shop has had three decades to figure this out. Established in 1991, the Seaport Village mainstay is celebrating 30 years in business. And though the Fudge Factory lives up to its name with decadent, buttery fudge, most of its offerings these days are more colorful, and hold a relatively well-defined shape. At the top of the list has to be the Mickey Mouse ice cream cone.

Bear in mind, for some length of its tenure, the Fudge Factory has shared its duplex shack with a Ben & Jerry’s franchise, so I’ve got to assume most Seaport visitors craving ice cream look right past it, whether tourists or staycationing locals. But take a closer look at the family-owned Fudge Factory, and you’ll notice plenty of soft serve ice cream options, including a Belgian waffle topped with a swirl of chocolate-dipped soft serve surrounded by Oreo crumbles. Consider it a ten-dollar sugar crash waiting to happen.

A little dessert shop in Seaport Village celebrates 30 years.

Much cuter is the Mickey Mouse cone ($9.50), which for starters has been dipped in red chocolate (rather, a red-colored white chocolate — or pink chocolate, should you prefer a Minnie Mouse cone). A pair of yellow M&Ms front the cone — either representing Mickey’s iconic yellow buttons, or his eyes, I’m not sure. Easier to figure are the Oreo cookies propped up on either side of the soft serve, forming the cartoon character’s famously round ears.

Think what you will about the pricey cone: I have no doubt it makes a more memorable treat than any amount of Chubby Hubby.

Chocolate-dipped soft serve ice cream atop a Belgian waffle with chocolate syrup and Oreo crumbles

For those neither feeling ice cream nor fudge, a third option delivers a bit of fruity fiber on a stick. I’m accustomed to candied apples coated in caramel, and nothing short of the county fair could have prepared me for the ways a tart, green apple could be made implausibly sweet. They dip it in caramel, sure, but then, when that dries, they dip it in white chocolate. And then, before that dries, they stick it in a pile of something crunchy. Crushed peanuts would be one example. Fruity Pebbles cereal would be another.

Inevitable, one of the kids tagging along for my fudged-up photo excursion had eyes only for that rainbow-colored feast.

“Would you like me to cut that up for you?” the woman working the counter asked.

A candied apple dipped in caramel, white chocolate, and Fruity Pebbles breakfast cereal

“No way,” I replied. Candied apples are meant to be eaten on a stick, I reasoned. And besides, I needed a good photo subject to get around that fudge.

Well, I got my photo, but we learned a valuable lesson: say yes next time. The first bite of a large, crisp apple is tough enough without having to break through two layers of sweet treat, and a coating of sugary breakfast cereal. The kid sure couldn’t do it, and my attempts didn’t fare any better. My apologies to the Seaport Village custodial staff for the mess we made. I hope they blamed tourists.

Seaport Fudge Factory celebrates its anniversary with a free luau on August 29, from 5-8pm.

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