Place of origin
|United States of America|
Year of invention
|Graham cracker cookies, marshmallow|
|Cookbook:Moon pie Moon pie|
A moon pie or MoonPie is a popular confection in the United States which consists of two round graham cracker cookies, with marshmallow filling in the center, dipped in a flavored coating. The snack is often associated with the cuisine of the American South where they are traditionally accompanied by an RC Cola. Today, MoonPies are made by the Chattanooga Bakery in Chattanooga, TN.
The traditional pie is approximately four inches (100 mm) in diameter. A smaller version exists (mini MoonPie) that is approximately half the size, and a Double-Decker MoonPie of the traditional diameter features a third cookie and attendant layer of marshmallow. The four main flavors are chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and banana. Double Decker MoonPies also come in lemon and orange; MoonPie Crunch comes only in peanut butter or mint.
MoonPies have been made at the Chattanooga Bakery since 1917. Earl Mitchell Jr., said his father came up with the idea for MoonPies when he asked a Kentucky coal miner what kind of snack he'd like to eat. The answer: something with graham cracker and marshmallow and dipped in chocolate. When Mitchell's father asked how big it should be, the miner looked up in the night sky and framed the full moon with his hands.
Precisely how and when people began the custom of eating Moon Pies with RC Cola is unknown, although it is likely that their inexpensive prices, combined with their larger serving sizes, contributed to establishing this combination as the "working man's lunch". The popularity of this combination was celebrated in a popular song of the 1950s, by Big Bill Lister, "Gimmee an RC Cola and a Moon Pie.". In 1973, NRBQ had a minor hit with the song, "An RC Cola and a Moon Pie."
Since New Year's Eve 2008, the city of Mobile, Alabama raises a 12-foot-tall (3.7 m) lighted mechanical moon pie to celebrate the coming of the new year. The giant banana colored MoonPie is raised by a crane to a height of 200 feet (61 m) as the clock strikes midnight. Also, the city had for the 2008 New Year's celebration the world's largest moon pie baked for the occasion. It weighed 55 pounds (25 kg) and contained 45,000 calories.
Newport, Tennessee held its first annual Moon Pie Festival in May, 2012.
Mardi Gras tradition
The Moon Pie became a traditional "throw" (an item thrown from a parade float into the crowd) of Mardi Gras "krewes" (parade participants) in Mobile, Alabama during 1956, followed by other communities along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The westernmost outpost of the Moon Pie as an important Carnival throw is Slidell, Louisiana, which has a parade by "The Krewe of Mona Lisa and Moon Pie." Also, in the town of Oneonta, Alabama, there is a moon pie eating contest started by Wal-Mart employee John Love when he inadvertently ordered too many. This anecdote was featured in Sam Walton's autobiography, Made in America.
Apollo 11 great moon walk tradition
The Moon Pie is a traditional celebratory food for remembering the Apollo 11 moon walk that took place on July 20, 1969. Moon Pies are used in the commemorative celebration by aerospace workers and enthusiasts across the globe.
A MoonPie is made with marshmallow, which is a low-fat but high-sugar food. The nutritional content of a chocolate full-size or Mini MoonPie (from 2004) is detailed below, showing (full-size) 226 calories, saturated fat 3.5g, carbohydrate 40g, protein 4g, iron 5%, of a total weight of 57 grams (2 ounces). The nutritional data for a chocolate Mini MoonPie is about 65% the amount of full-size.
The ingredients are as follows: Enriched wheat flour (Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic acid), Corn Syrup, Sugar, Vegetable shortening (Contains Partially hydrogenated Soybean Oil and/or Cottonseed Oil and/or Coconut Oil and/or Palm kernel oil and/or Palm Oil), Soy Flour, Dutched Cocoa (Processed With Alkali), Cocoa, Kosher Gelatin, Baking Soda, Lecithin, Salt, Artificial Flavoring, Sodium sulfite.
Nutrition facts for chocolate MoonPie (full-size):
Nutrition facts for chocolate Mini MoonPie:
Note that the nutrition data is for a chocolate MoonPie or chocolate Mini MoonPie, while other flavors (such as banana, vanilla, strawberry, or orange) might have different nutritional content.
In the northern areas of the U.S. a similar product is called a "Scooter Pie" and there is also a single-cracker marshmallow cookie called "Mallomars". Little Debbie also makes what they call "Marshmallow Pies" which are nearly identical to the Moonpies. In the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada a similar product is called "Wagon Wheels" and in Japan, "Angel Pies".
Some South Korean companies produce "Choco Pies", and in Mexico there are similar cookie pies called "Mamut" (sold by Gamesa), and "Rocko" (marketed by Marinela); there are several other minor brands as well. In Turkey, a similar pie is called "Halley".
- Chocolate-coated marshmallow treats
- Choco Pie
- Fluffernutter, another kind of marshmallow creme based sandwich
- Wagon Wheels
- Whoopie pie
- MoonPie products
- NPR: The Heavenly Appeal of Moon Pies
- "MoonPie: The Original Marshmallow Snack"
- "Mobile's Moon Pie rising". Press-Register. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
- "Giant Moon Pie taking shape for New Year's celebration". Press-Register. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
- "Carnival/Mobile Mardi Gras Timeline" (list of events by year), Museum of Mobile, 2001, webpage:MoM: states: 1917 - The Chattanooga Bakery company introduces the popular marshmallow cookie "moon pie"; and, 1956 - The first "moon pies" are thrown from a Mobile Mardi Gras float.
- "Mobile's Moonpies made their debut in 1974!". Mardi Gras Digest .Com. Archived from the original on Oct 3, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
- Walton, Sam; John Huey (1992). Made in America. Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-46860-2.
- "Chocolate MoonPie nutrition information" (label), DietFacts.com, 2004-09-07 (letter from bakery), webpage: DF-MoonPie (nutrition facts of full-size chocolate MoonPie).
- "Chocolate Mini MoonPie nutrition information" (label), DietFacts.com, 2004-09-07 (letter from bakery), webpage: DF-choc-Mini-MoonPie (nutrition facts of chocolate Mini MoonPie).
- Labels in 2007 on a chocolate Mini MoonPie have listed 130 calories (30 from fat), with 2.5g saturated fat (Trans fat 0g), but the same weight, 34g (1.2 oz).
- Official Chattanooga Bakery website
- Chattanooga Bakery Company article at the Tennessee Encyclopedia Online