Moon pie

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Moon pie
Moon-Pie-Single.jpg
Alternative names MoonPie
Type Confectionery
Place of origin United States of America
Invented April 29, 1917
Main ingredients Graham cracker cookies, marshmallow, chocolate
Cookbook: Moon pie  Media: Moon pie

A moon pie or stylized as MoonPie[1] is an American confection, popular across much of 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.[2] Today, Moon pies are made by Chattanooga Bakery, Inc. in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The traditional pie is approximately 4 inches (100 millimetres) in diameter. A smaller version exists (mini Moon pie) that is approximately half the size, and a Double-Decker Moon pie of the traditional diameter features a third cookie and attendant layer of marshmallow. The five main flavors are chocolate, vanilla, banana, strawberry, and salted caramel. Orange and coconut make seasonal appearances during the Mardi Gras parading season.

History[edit]

A double-decker Moon Pie split in half

Moon pies have been made daily at the Chattanooga Bakery since the brand's inception on April 29, 1917. Earl Mitchell Junior said his father came up with the idea for Moon pies when he asked a Kentucky coal miner what kind of snack he would like to eat, and the miner requested something with graham cracker and marshmallow. Popular folklore, repeated and encouraged by Chattanooga Bakery itself, states the miner then asked the snack be "as big as the moon",[3] which inspired the name "moon pie".

There is a custom for eating Moon pies with RC Cola, although the origin of this is unknown.[2] 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".[3] 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 has been lowering a 12-foot-tall (3.7 m) lighted mechanical moon pie to celebrate the coming of the new year. The giant Moon pie descends the 34 story RSA BankTrust building at the strike of midnight.[4] Every NYE, the world's largest Moon pie is cut and served to the public as part of the festivities. It weighs 55 pounds (25 kg) and contains 45,000 calories.[5]

An annual RC Cola and Moon pie festival is celebrated in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, and a Moon pie eating contest is held in Bessemer, Alabama.

On October 14, 2017, Matt Stonie, a competitive eater famous in national eating contests, ate 73 Single-Decker Moon pies in eight minutes at the Bass Pro Shops store in Memphis, TN.

Newport, Tennessee held its first annual Moon pie Festival in May 2012.

The company is celebrating its centennial anniversary with a "My Favorite MoonPie Memory" contest. The grand prize winner gets a 100 year supply of Moon pies. It's also taking a wrapped Winnebago across the country in the Fall, thanking its top customers and attending various sporting events and festivals.

In September 2017, as part of its Centennial, Moon pie returned to the original recipe, replacing HFCS with real sugar and removing preservatives and artificial colors and flavors.

Mardi Gras tradition[edit]

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,[6][7] followed by other communities along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The westernmost outpost of the MoonPie as an important Carnival throw is Slidell, Louisiana, which has a parade by "The Krewe of Mona Lisa and MoonPie". Also, in the town of Oneonta, Alabama, there is a MoonPie 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.[8]

Apollo 11 great moon walk tradition[edit]

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.[citation needed]

Nutrition facts[edit]

A Moon pie is made with marshmallow, which is a low-fat but high-sugar food. The nutritional content of a chocolate full-size or mini Moon pie (from 2004) is detailed below, showing (full-size) 226 calories,[9] saturated fat 3.5g, carbohydrate 40 g, protein 4 g, iron 5 percent, of a total weight of 57 grams (2.0 ounces). The nutritional data for a chocolate mini Moon pie is about 65 percent the amount of full-size.[10][11]

The ingredients are as follows:[9] 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.[9]

Nutrition facts for chocolate Moon pie (full-size):[9]

Nutrition facts for chocolate mini Moon pie:[10]

Note that the nutrition data is for a chocolate Moon pie or chocolate mini Moon pie, while other flavors (such as banana, vanilla, strawberry, or orange) might have different nutritional content.

Flavors[edit]

Single-decker

  • Salted Caramel
  • Banana
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate

Double-decker

  • Salted Caramel
  • Strawberry
  • Banana
  • Chocolate
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Vanilla

Minis

  • Salted Caramel
  • Strawberry
  • Banana
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Coconut

Moon Pie Crunch

  • Peanut Butter
  • Mint

Similar products[edit]

Wagon Wheels are similar to moon pies and are found in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada

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 Moon pies. In the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada a similar product is called "Wagon Wheels" and in South Korea, the very similar "Choco Pie" is produced by several companies. In Japan, there is the smaller-sized "Angel Pies" by Morinaga as well as a brand of "Choco Pie".

Some Taiwanese companies produce "Choco pies", and in Mexico there are similar cookie pies called "Mamut" (Spanish for "Mammoth", sold by Gamesa), and "Rocko" (marketed by Marinela); there are several other minor brands as well. In Turkey, a similar pie is called "Halley". In Egypt, a similar pie is called "Bimbo". In Argentina a similar treat is "Alfajor", more than 20 brands marketed as "alfajores" are very popular.

In popular culture[edit]

ABC-TV's Good Morning America featured "The Moon Pie Song" by Charles Ghigna (Father Goose) during its tour of the Chattanooga Bakery Company in 1991.

In Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 15 "Phases", Xander states that although the full moon can bring out the worst qualities of mankind it "ironically also led to the invention of the Moon Pie". Giles finds this hilarious.

In the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon calls his grandmother Meemaw, who in turn, calls him Moonpie.[12]

In The Cannonball Run Burt Reynolds refers to Dom Deluise as a "round orange moonpie with a white hat on".

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Page Not Found or Page Error – MoonPie". MoonPie. Retrieved June 15, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b "The Heavenly Appeal of MoonPies". npr.org. Retrieved June 15, 2018. 
  3. ^ a b "About Us – MoonPie". MoonPie. Retrieved June 15, 2018. 
  4. ^ "Mobile's Moon Pie rising". Press-Register. Retrieved August 14, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Giant MoonPie taking shape for New Year's celebration". Press-Register. Archived from the original on June 9, 2011. Retrieved August 14, 2009. 
  6. ^ "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 "MoonPies" are thrown from a Mobile Mardi Gras float.
  7. ^ "Mobile's Moonpies made their debut in 1974!". MardiGrasDigest.com. Archived from the original on October 3, 2008. Retrieved September 1, 2008. 
  8. ^ Walton, Sam; John Huey (1992). Made in America. Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-46860-2. 
  9. ^ a b c d e "Chocolate MoonPie nutrition information" (label), DietFacts.com, September 7, 2004 (letter from bakery), webpage: DF-MoonPie (nutrition facts of full-size chocolate MoonPie).
  10. ^ a b c "Chocolate Mini MoonPie nutrition information" (label), DietFacts.com, September 7, 2004 (letter from bakery), webpage: DF-choc-Mini-MoonPie (nutrition facts of chocolate Mini MoonPie).
  11. ^ a b Labels in 2007 on a chocolate Mini MoonPie have listed 130 calories (30 from fat), with 2.5g saturated fat (Trans fat 0 g), but the same weight, 34 g (1.2 oz).
  12. ^ "The Big Bang Theory – The Terminator Decoupling Quotes". the-big-bang-theory.com. Retrieved January 26, 2017. 

External links[edit]