When I was young, the happening place in Oswego was Elmer Fudge.
A small, old-school candy store located on Main Street right by Dairy Hut, Elmer Fudge provided my friends and I with a wide range of candies, chocolates, and other goodies for not a lot of money. When I was in junior high, it was tradition that on the last day of school, everybody would walk or ride their bikes to Main Street, to visit Elmer Fudge and Dairy Hut.
But then Elmer Fudge closed, and the tradition stopped. So for years, those of us obsessed with candy had to make do with the options provided at places like Walmart and Walgreens until a few weeks ago, when The Peach Ring opened up in downtown Oswego.
Located on Washington Street (Route 34), across from The Church of the Good Shepherd and the American Legion, The Peach Ring bills itself as a “Candy shop featuring artisan, old-fashioned sweets, sugar-free and nut-free candies, as well as everyone’s favorite candy classics.” The store holds true to this, offering unique chocolates, candies, and healthy nut-free and sugar-free choices.
I stopped by for the first time over the weekend, drawn in by the sidewalk sign. The Peach Ring is located in a renovated home, with the storefront taking up most of the first floor of the house. Fitting with the artisanal, “old-fashioned” nature of the sweets it sells, the store is simple and well-decorated with white walls and hardwood floors. The displays of candy are neat and organized, with jelly beans and other sweets stored in large glass jars for customers to scoop out into bags. Right as you walk into the store is a large wall covered with bags of cotton candy, organized by flavor, something I found very helpful.
As it was my first visit, I decided to sample a range of products. I purchased two bags of cotton candy – green apple and peach flavored – chocolate truffles, three types of fudge and a piece of dark chocolate sea salt toffee.
Both varieties of cotton candy were well-flavored; enough flavor to taste, but not overwhelming or fake, and both bags were as full as can be.
The chocolates sold at The Peach Ring are also worth raving over. I purchased three types of fudge, peanut butter, salted caramel and plain, and each was delicious. The plain fudge was well-flavored; rich, but not cloying, with a smooth consistency that didn’t melt in my hands. The salted caramel fudge was basically a fudge sandwich with caramel in the center, which was perfectly fine with me. The smooth caramel went well with the fudge, balancing each other well. However, my favorite had to be the peanut butter fudge. Divided into two layers, it felt like eating a very large (and better-tasting) Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. There was enough of the smooth peanut butter to not be overwhelmed by the chocolate, and the chocolate had a strong enough flavor to match the peanut butter.
The truffles and toffee were also highlights from my first visit. Truffles can be purchased individually, or in boxes separated by flavor. I went classic with the chocolate truffles with a smooth filling and shell. The dark chocolate toffee I had seen described on the store’s social media as a favorite of employees. I too enjoyed my piece, half covered in sea salt that helped to enhance the bitter dark chocolate and sweet toffee.
It has been years since Oswego has had a candy store. For many, Elmer Fudge served as a throwback to the candy of their childhood, or served as representation of happy memories. But The Peach Ring is a solid successor to the legacy of Elmer Fudge, offering specialty goods for any cravings.
• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at the Record Newspapers. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits a restaurant and then reports on the experience. The Mystery Diner is not intended to be a restaurant critic but does highlight the parts of a dining experience that he/she can recommend.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: The Peach Ring
WHERE: 12 W. Washington St., Unit B, Oswego
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday; closed Monday
INFO: firstname.lastname@example.org, 630-636-7107