Goo Goo Clusters

Goo Goo Clusters

The original Southern confection

I remember the first time I had a Goo Goo Cluster. It was in 1982, and I was on vacation with my parents in Nashville, Tennessee.  It was a planned vacation for my parents, but it wasn’t planned that I would be along. My parents were going to the World’s Fair in Knoxville with some friends. There were to be three couples, traveling by RV from Kansas City to Knoxville, stopping at points in between. Because of a medical reason, one of the couples had to back out. Instead, their daughter and son-in-law, and their two little girls, were going to go in their stead. I was 21 at the time, and home from college for the summer.  I didn’t have a job, so they asked if I would go along to babysit the girls.

The couples’ had pre-purchased tickets to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. I stayed back at the RV park, babysitting the girls. We played games, took a walk, and went swimming. I put the girls to bed, then sat reading until their parents, and mine, returned from the Grand Ole Opry.

I think my mom felt sorry for me for having to stay behind. She brought me some candy that they had purchased at the Opry, a Goo Goo Cluster. I had never heard of a Goo Goo Cluster before, but my mom said she’d had one at the Opry, and that they were Heaven. I unwrapped the Goo Goo Cluster, bit into it, and sighed. She was right, it was Heaven.

Goo Goo Clusters were first made in 1912 by the Standard Candy Co. of Nashville, Tennessee. It was the first “combination” candy, meaning a candy made of more than one ingredient. The original Goo Goo Clusters contain caramel, marshmallow nougat, peanuts and milk chocolate. In the 1980’s the Standard Candy Co. introduced the Goo Goo Cluster Supreme, using pecan pieces instead of peanuts. The third type of Goo Goo Cluster, the Goo Goo Peanut Butter Cluster, was added to the line in 1991. The Goo Goo Peanut Butter Cluster uses peanut butter instead of marshmallow nougat. My favorite is the Goo Goo Supreme.

Goo Goo Clusters are found mainly in the southern United States, although Cracker Barrel Country Stores throughout the country carry the confection. I was at the local Dollar Tree today and saw them there, which surprised me, as I don’t think I’ve seen them since I moved to Arizona. You can also order Goo Goo Clusters online. Note however, the company does not ship the candy from May to October due to the temperatures.

If you’ve never had a Goo Goo Cluster, I recommend trying one if you get a chance.