Moon pie

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A chocolate Moon pie
Moon-Pie-Single.jpg
Alternative namesMoonPie
TypeConfectionery
Place of originUnited States of America
InventedApril 29, 1917; 103 years ago (1917-04-29)
Main ingredientsGraham cracker cookies, marshmallow, flavored coating

A moon pie, stylized as MoonPie,[1] 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.[2] 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.

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 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",[1] 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 titled "Gimme an RC Cola and a Moon Pie".[1] 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.[3] 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).[4]

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 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 September 2017, as part of its centennial, Moon Pie returned to the original recipe, replacing high-fructose corn syrup with sugar and removing preservatives and artificial colors and flavors.

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[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,[5][6] 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.[7]

Ingredients[edit]

Moon pie
Nutritional value per 100g
Energy385 kcal (1,610 kJ)
70.51g
Sugars34.62
Dietary fiber1.3g
8.97g
Saturated6.41 g
5.13g
MineralsQuantity %DV
Iron
14%
1.85 mg
Sodium
20%
295 mg

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, kosher gelatin, baking soda, lecithin, salt, artificial flavoring, sodium sulfite.[8]

Other flavors (such as banana, vanilla, strawberry, or orange) might have different nutritional content.

Flavors[edit]

Single-decker

  • Salted Caramel
  • Banana
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Strawberry
  • Butterscotch

Double-decker

  • Salted Caramel
  • Strawberry
  • Banana
  • Chocolate
  • Lemon (discontinued)
  • Orange (discontinued)
  • Vanilla
  • Pumpkin Spice

Minis

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

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".

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 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[edit]

  • In the animated TV series The Simpsons, 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 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.
  • The brand is known for its off-kilter Twitter presence.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "About Us – MoonPie". MoonPie. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "The Heavenly Appeal of MoonPies". npr.org. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  3. ^ "Mobile's Moon Pie rising". Press-Register. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  4. ^ "Giant MoonPie taking shape for New Year's celebration". Press-Register. Archived from the original on June 9, 2011. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ "Mobile's Moonpies made their debut in 1974!". MardiGrasDigest.com. Archived from the original on October 3, 2008. Retrieved September 1, 2008.
  7. ^ Walton, Sam; John Huey (1992). Made in America. Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-46860-2.
  8. ^ "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).
  9. ^ "Quotes from 'The Terminator Decoupling'". The Big Bang Theory Fan Site. Retrieved January 26, 2017 – via the-big-bang-theory.com.
  10. ^ "This Is Who's Behind MoonPie's Hysterically Weird Twitter Account". BuzzFeed. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  11. ^ "Larry Groce — Junk Food Junkie". Genius.com.

External links[edit]