National Peanut Cluster Day on March 8 is the perfect day to indulge in this delicious, decadent treat. Peanut clusters combine the sweetness of chocolate and the crunchiness of peanuts to bring you the best of both worlds. With a flavor profile that lends a jolt to your taste buds, this century-old invention continues to be one of the best-selling confectioneries in the U.S. So pull out your apron and gather all your ingredients, because we are making our own peanut clusters as we mark this delicious holiday.
History of National Peanut Cluster Day
Ever since learning how Americans have loved adding chocolate to food products. From strawberries to a toasty marshmallow, the desire to combine the brown goodness with lesser tasting edibles has mostly proven right.
Similar were the urges of Howell Campbell, owner of Standard Candy Company based in Nashville, Tennessee, who decided to combine multiple types of confectionery items such as marshmallow nougat, roasted peanuts, and caramel, and coated them in milk chocolate to form a singular piece of a candy bar. Little did he know, his invention would sail a thousand ships, as he would be introducing the amalgamation of peanuts and chocolate to millions of Americans.
Goo Goo Cluster, Howell’s signature candy, soon became an American sensation, and people since have not been able to walk away from the stunning taste of chocolate-covered peanuts. The irresistibility of a peanut cluster is all due to the ignition of dynamic sensory contrast in our taste buds. The contrasting flavor of sweet and salty, topped with the altering textures of soft chocolate and crunchy peanuts, lights up a Christmas tree in our brain’s pleasure centers. Howell Campbell’s invention ushered in an entire genre of candies involving peanuts, as the nut soon became a prominently identifiable confectionery item.
As major players like Reese’s Pieces and Snickers have co-opted the hit formula of combining chocolates and peanuts, nothing offers the most delectable version of this vintage duo other than a humbling peanut cluster. It’s easy to make, it stores well, and its taste never gets old. Although we can’t find the exact originator of the holiday, let’s thank them nonetheless, because any excuse to gobble up a batch, or three, of this classic American candy, is the one we can’t wait to jump onto.
National Peanut Cluster Day timeline
Fry, an English chocolatier, figures out a way to make moldable chocolate by mixing cocoa powder with sugar and cocoa butter.
Several labor-saving machines are brought in to plant, cultivate, harvest, pick, clean, and deshell the peanuts — which ultimately skyrockets the peanut production in America.
Standard Candy Company based in Nashville, Tennessee, manufactures a peanut cluster candy for the first time.
Master Candy Maker Elmo Lanzi invents the first machine that automatically dips a batch of peanuts into chocolate for an even coating.
National Peanut Cluster Day FAQs
How long do homemade peanut clusters last?
Homemade peanut clusters can last for up to three months in an airtight Ziploc bag or container. You can either refrigerate them or store them in a cool and dry place. Avoid placement in direct sunlight or near the stove, as exposure to heat can melt the chocolate and disfigure the clusters.
What is the best way to eat peanuts?
The best way to eat peanuts is with their skin on, as it has the majority of phytochemicals and antioxidants. Peanuts can be eaten powdered, fried, roasted, ground, or dipped in chocolates in the form of peanut clusters.
Why are peanuts so popular in America?
Peanuts went from slave food to a delicacy within a century. A scarcity of meat during the Second World War forced soldiers to scout for protein alternatives and led to the adoption of peanut butter as their daily staple.
National Peanut Cluster Day Activities
Visit your local candy store
You heard us! Shop ‘til you drop at your local candy joint. Pick up all the varieties of peanut bars, and don’t forget to reach across the aisle and grab a couple of other candies. It’s been months since Halloween, and National Peanut Cluster Day is the perfect excuse to gorge upon some candy again.
Try a variety of clusters
We love our traditional peanut clusters, but did you know that there are many other varieties of them? Caramel and chocolate butterscotch clusters are delicious and live up to the hype. Going along with the memo, these renditions offer the crunch you expect and the gooeyness you crave.
Spread the love
Peanut clusters are easy to make. If you are confident in your chocolate tempering skills and can roast and salt peanuts, then all that's left is to combine them, and there you have it. This March 8, make a fresh batch of this sweet and savory delight and send it to your friends and family.
5 Interesting Facts About Peanuts To Crunch Your Knowledge
It’s a peanut party in the U.S.
Peanuts are the seventh most valuable crop in the U.S. and have a farm value of over one billion U.S. dollars.
Peanut candies reign supreme
Peanut-based candies are extremely popular in the U.S and out of the surveyed top 10 most loved candies, five were found to be peanut-based.
The tough love of peanut
The introduction of peanuts into a diet at a young age can reduce the chance of developing nut allergies.
They’re better than the berries
Peanuts pack more antioxidants than green tea, grapes, spinach, and other supposedly healthier nuts and berries.
The start of an era
The invention of peanut combination bars marks the beginning of mass retail confectionery production in America.
Why We Love National Peanut Cluster Day
A match made in heaven
Chocolate and peanuts are great when eaten individually, but as a pair — they are magnificent. Biting into the crunch of peanuts as the chocolate melts in your mouth is enough reason to wolf down an entire pack of peanut clusters in a single sitting.
A harmless delicacy
A spoonful of peanut butter a day can give you vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and more protein than any other nut. Peanuts are harmless, endearing, and delicious, and on National Peanut Cluster Day, we celebrate them with their best-suited partner — chocolate.
An ‘ode to’ history
Peanut clusters are one of the oldest confectioneries in America, with their industrial production dating back to 1912. This iconic recipe has inspired many spin-offs and is credited for popularizing peanuts in North America.
National Peanut Cluster Day dates