“DANGER” warns a sign wedged between a stuffed alligator’s teeth. A long brownish snakeskin also is on a long board at Perry’s Nut House on U.S. Route 1 in Belfast. The warning sign refers to the reptilian remnants, but it really should apply to the deadly, delectable fudge awaiting customers. In its 95th year, the famed curiosity shop sells roughly 20 flavors of homemade fudge as well as knickknacks and bizarre curios. Most popular are the various peanut butter flavors –made with real peanut butter – and sea salt caramel.
In the back of Perry’s, Daniel Beaton whips up all the fudge that folks come from near and far to taste. The former watch business proprietor has held a variety of jobs in life including serving as a U.S. Army Airborne Ranger and seaweed harvester. He appreciates that this job doesn’t require as much precision as watchmaking. “No pun intended, but I can fudge it,” he said.
In Perry’s early days, the big snakeskin was among the attractions. The python, though, got auctioned off in the 1990s. The store’s ever-resourceful manager Veronica Spear was authorized to trade $100 worth of fudge to acquire and restore the reptilian relic to its original place.
Customers, who visited Perry’s decades ago, will come back and reminisce about the displays they saw — some of which are still there — and the fudge they ate. Both Beaton and Spear both favor the raspberry cheesecake flavor. And if you’re at a loss for which flavor to get, don’t fret. Free samples are given to prospective buyers. Perry’s Nut House is open daily year-round, every day. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The shop is located at 45 Searsport Avenue, U.S. Route 1 in Belfast. For more info, call 338-1630, email [email protected] and visit www.perrysnuthouse.com.