|Place of origin||United States of America|
|Region or state||Tennessee|
|Invented||April 29, 1917|
|Main ingredients||Graham cracker cookies, marshmallow, flavored coating|
A Moon Pie, stylized as MoonPie, is an American confection, popular across much of the United States, which consists of two round graham 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 Chattanooga Bakery, Inc. in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The traditional pie is approximately 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. A smaller version, called a Mini Moon Pie, 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.
Moon pies have been made daily at the Chattanooga Bakery since the brand's inception on April 29, 1917. Earl Thach Shauf said his father, Mitchell Poe Shauf, 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 the Chattanooga Bakery itself, states the miner then asked the snack be "as big as the moon", which inspired the name "moon pie".
There is a custom of eating moon pies with RC Cola, although the origin of this is unknown. 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 titled "Gimme 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 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 stroke of midnight. Every New Year's Eve, 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 (190 kJ).
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 celebrated its centennial with a "My Favorite MoonPie Memory" contest. The grand prize was a 100-year supply of moon pies. A military veteran, Christopher Priest from Rockford, Michigan, won the contest. The company also took a wrapped Winnebago across the country in the fall, thanking its top customers and attending various sporting events and festivals.
In 2020, the company released pumpkin spice double-decker and mini moon pies. The minis appear on their website and the double-deckers are available at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's.
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 Northwest Florida and 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.
|Nutritional value per 100g|
|Energy||385 kcal (1,610 kJ)|
|†Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults. |
Source: USDA FoodData Central
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, gelatin, baking soda, lecithin, salt, artificial flavoring, sodium sulfite.
Other flavors (such as banana, vanilla, strawberry, or orange) might have different nutritional content.
- Salted Caramel
- Salted Caramel
- Lemon (discontinued)
- Orange (discontinued)
- Pumpkin Spice
- Salted Caramel
- Pumpkin Spice
Moon Pie Crunch
- Peanut Butter
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".
In South Korea, the very similar "Choco Pie" is produced by several companies, including the Lotte Confectionery. In Japan, there is the smaller-sized "Angel Pies" by Morinaga, as well as a brand of "Choco pie" that is similar, as are "Mamut" (Spanish for "Mammoth", sold by Gamesa), and "Rocko" (marketed by Marinela, which incorporates strawberry jelly in the snack) in Mexico, and there are several other minor brands as well. The "Halley" and "Bimbo" pies sold in Turkey and Egypt, respectively, are also similar. In South America, a similar treat is "Alfajor", and more than 20 brands marketed as "alfajores" are very popular.
In popular culture
- In the animated TV series The Simpsons 1998 season 9 episode 17 ("Lisa the Simpson"), the product is seen for sale at Kwik-E-Mart. When Jasper thought he was in the future, he discovered that the product existed.
- In the comedy TV series Laverne & Shirley, scooter pies are a favorite snack of the titular characters, particularly Laverne.
- In the comedy TV series Scrubs season one episode, "My Nickname," the Janitor gives J.D. the nickname "Scooter." His reasoning being, "It's short for 'Scooter Pie.' I hate Scooter Pies."
- In the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1998 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 and its prequel series Young Sheldon, Sheldon calls his grandmother Meemaw, and she in turn calls him Moon Pie.
- In the feature film The Cannonball Run (1981), J.J. McClure (Burt Reynolds) refers to Victor Prinzi (Dom DeLuise) as a "round orange moonpie with a white hat on".
- The brand is known for its off-kilter Twitter presence.
- In the 1999 film The Green Mile, the prisoner Wild Bill (Sam Rockwell) chews up a moonpie and spits it in a guard's face (David Morse).
- In the 1994 song "Lifestyles of the Not So Rich and Famous" by country artist Tracy Byrd, a line says "Our champagne and caviar is an RC Cola and a Moon Pie".
- Lyrics in the 1976 song "Junk Food Junkie" by Larry Groce include: "And I pull out some Fritos corn chips / Dr. Pepper and an Ole Moon Pie / Then I sit back in glorious expectation / Of a genuine junk food high".
- In the 1950s, Big Bill Lister sang the praises of the sugary treat in his song, "Gimme an RC Cola and a Moon Pie."
- In 1972, NRBQ released a song titled, "RC Cola and a Moon Pie." Later, they released a compilation record with the same name.
- Choco pie
- Chocolate-coated marshmallow treats
- Fluffernutter, another kind of marshmallow creme-based sandwich
- Wagon Wheels
- Whoopie pie
- "About Us – MoonPie". MoonPie. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
- "The Heavenly Appeal of MoonPies". npr.org. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
- "Mobile's Moon Pie rising". Press-Register. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
- "Giant MoonPie taking shape for New Year's celebration". Press-Register. Archived from the original on June 9, 2011. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
- "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.
- "Mobile's Moonpies made their debut in 1974!". MardiGrasDigest.com. Archived from the original on October 3, 2008. Retrieved September 1, 2008.
- Walton, Sam; John Huey (1992). Made in America. Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-46860-2.
- "Chocolate Moon pie nutrition information" (label), DietFacts.com, September 7, 2004 (letter from bakery), webpage: DF-MoonPie Archived September 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine (nutrition facts of full-size chocolate MoonPie).
- "Quotes from 'The Terminator Decoupling'". The Big Bang Theory Fan Site. Retrieved January 26, 2017 – via the-big-bang-theory.com.
- "This Is Who's Behind MoonPie's Hysterically Weird Twitter Account". BuzzFeed. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
- "Larry Groce — Junk Food Junkie". Genius.com.