Sunday, May 3, 2009

Blob, Cluster, Turtle - Chocolate Evolution

I have a confession to make. I didn't really know there was a difference between a "cluster" and a "turtle." I thought they were all blobs of goo (marshmallow, caramel, peanut butter, whatever) and nuts covered with chocolate.

So little I know, so much I have to learn.

According to in their candy section - "Turtle Candies get their name from their whimsical turtle shape. The combination of toasted pecans, soft caramel and smooth chocolate is impossible to resist. Some people make their turtles with 3 pecans: 1 for the head, and 2 for the front legs. I prefer to use 4 (for all 4 legs-I guess my turtles don't have heads) but you can modify to suit your tastes."

Hmmmm........I really didn't know. Heads, legs, - complicated. I've had turtles before. They're good. But then I had Mama Laura's turtles:

Mama Laura's turtles are so good, there is no reason to ever eat any other turtles ever again. Her turtles made me want to know just what turtles were. Her turtles are indeed Saint worthy. Her place in chocolate heaven is completely locked in now!

These are make your eyes roll back in your head good. The turtle shell is a mountain of delicious, gooey caramel that blows all that other lame turtle caramel away. The chocolate is fabulous, the pecans fresh. These turtles are life changing. Mama Laura is amazing!! Thus, our first Church of Chocolate Saint. I have to say that eating these are definitely a religious experience.

Now these are clusters, which apparently are blobs of goo (caramel, marshmallow, peanut butter, etc.) and nuts covered with chocolate. I have three GooGoo Clusters and one (yes, I keep giving them a chance) Russell Stover Almond Delight (cluster).

GooGoo Clusters ( come in three flavors. We'll cover each one. First let's look at all of these naked:

We don't have anything against nudity in the Church of Chocolate, by the way.

We'll start with the upper left - the GooGoo Supreme. This one has milk chocolate, pecans, caramel and marshmallow. Next to it on the right is the GooGoo Cluster. It's the same but with peanuts instead of pecans. Bottom left is Almond Delight with milk chocolate, caramel and almonds. And finally, GooGoo Peanut Butter, with milk chocolate, peanuts and peanut butter.

Let's just say that Russell Stover continues to be lame. As you can see from the nude shots, there is way more chocolate than nuts. It's applied in a too thick layer and overpowers the caramel and the nuts. You can barely even taste the almonds. The caramel and the chocolate are sub par. This should be called Almond Plight - I feel sorry that almonds gave their lives for this.

I also am proud to announce that GooGoo Clusters ROCK! Made since 1912 in Nashville, TN by the Standard Candy Company. You know how I love these independent candy companies!!! If you haven't tried a GooGoo Cluster - you should! They have them in those nostalgia candy places (Cracker Barrel) and I see them in convenience stores from time to time. The next time you see one - try it!

Back to the clusters - Supreme has the pecans, but I prefer the peanuts in the standard cluster. The pecans seem a little too sweet, I prefer the saltier peanut. But I was impressed by how many nuts were packed in these - the way it should be if you ask me!! And the marshmallow is balanced perfectly with the caramel and the chocolate - you will love these. I kid you not.

But my favorite, a true work of candy art - was the GooGoo Peanut Butter. No caramel and marshmallow here - just packed with peanut butter and peanuts and coated with chocolate - fantastic!!

I even liked the GooGoo Peanut Butter better than Koeze's Cream Nut Peanut Butter Clusters. Remember them? (I reviewed them and Reese's Clusters around Christmas). GooGoo is the best.

And you know what? When GooGoo Clusters first came out - all candy bars were rectangular. No one knew what to call these weird globs. They were hard to wrap. They didn't fit in. I like that - GooGoo Cluster have been rebels since 1912. They were making candy bars that weren't bars. At the Church of Chocolate, we let everybody in - especially nuts and rebels. Actually, we might not have any members if it weren't for nuts and rebels.

Have a nutty and rebellious week!


jeff said...

I'll be nutty and rebellious, if you'll just be nekkid.

Denise Ryan said...

Bwah, ha, ha - Jeff, you crack me up!!! You are SO in the C of C!!

Cassandra said...

Great Blog! And yes, Mama Laura's is too good-- my Mom keeps a hidden stash of her English Toffee in her desk at all times.....

Denise Ryan said...

Thanks for the comment, Cassandra!! Oh - I bet that toffee is awesome!! If I was your mom, I'd eat it all!! I can't wait to get to Laura's shop someday. YUM!