In the days when the news is mostly Brexit, Donald Trump and Miscellaneous Misery, it's perhaps not surprising that the Great Isle of Wight Fudge Scandal has gone unnoticed.
Well folks, it's time to change all that. I'm going to peel away the cellophane wrapper covering up this minor scandal and reveal it to the world.
If it helps, we can call it Fudgegate.
Let's imagine that you are approaching the end of an Isle of Wight holiday and have just realised that you need to buy something for grandma. She bought you a lovely ashtray from Lanzarote so it's only fair that you get her some tat in return (a tat for tat arrangement, if you will).
You end up in a gift shop, most likely in Shanklin, Sandown, Ryde or Alum Bay and decide grandma would like some fudge. She lost her final tooth when you bought her toffee once, so fudge is the best option.
The box has a postcard of Godshill on the front, which she will love, so you happily pay through the nose.
But here's the minor scandal.
Take a careful look at the box and you'll almost certainly find it wasn't made on the Isle of Wight. It will more likely say something vague about coming from the UK and have an address in Devon or Dundee or anywhere apart from the Isle of Wight. You could probably buy the same fudge from any shop in any town.
I guess in a way this minor scandal doesn't matter two hoots. Most stuff is made in China now so we should be grateful that this is even made in the UK.
But in my mind there's a difference between plastic souvenir rubbish (which you assume comes from China via a vast warehouse in Northampton) and souvenir food, which you sort of hope might be vaguely reflective of the local area.
So I'd like to invite you to look for some more authentic Isle of Wight souvenirs for grandma.
Next time, try a farm shop and you'll find dozens of locally produced foodie things, many of which also won't raise grandma's risk of developing type 2 diabetes (though admittedly they might not be entirely healthy).
We had a successful shopping trip at Brownriggs Farm Shop in Godshill. My mother recommends Briddlesford Lodge Farm Shop nearish to Wootton/Newport. Some of the Coop stores stock a small range of local food.
I'm sure there are many others, and it isn't really fair of me to just highlight the ones we happened to pass.
In a decent farm shop you'll find Isle of Wight beer, gin, vodka, biscuits, cheeses by the bucketload, posh tomato ketchup and so on. There's even a locally made fudge shop in Cowes, which is ideal for Grandma.
There's also Isle of Wight coffee and chocolate, which admittedly weren't grown on the Island but still have a local link, somehow.
Over the next few weeks we'll be trying out a few of them - for research purposes of course.
Join the campaign, save grandma's teeth and leave the foreign fudge on the shelf.
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