One of America’s Favorites – Moon Pies

May 8, 2017 at 5:26 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Moon pie

A moon pie or MoonPie is a confection, popular in parts 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. Today, MoonPies are made by the Chattanooga Bakery in Chattanooga, TN.

The traditional pie is approximately four inches 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. In 2014, a salted caramel flavor was introduced.

 
MoonPies have been made daily at the Chattanooga Bakery since the incorporation of MoonPie on April 29, 1917. Earl Mitchell Junior said his father came up with the idea for MoonPies 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 for eating MoonPies with RC Cola, although the origin of this is unknown. It is likely that their

A double-decker Moon Pie split in half.

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 has been raising a 12-foot-tall 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 as the clock strikes midnight. Also, the city had for the 2008 New Year’s celebration the world’s largest MoonPie baked for the occasion. It weighed 55 pounds and contained 45,000 calories.

An annual RC & MoonPie Festival is celebrated in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, and a MoonPie Eating Contest is held in Bessemer, Alabama.

On October 16, 2010, Sonya Thomas, a competitive eater known as the “Black Widow”, ate 38 MoonPies in eight minutes in Caruthersville, Missouri.

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

 
Mardi Gras tradition
The MoonPie 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 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.

 
Apollo 11 great moon walk tradition
The MoonPie is a traditional celebratory food for remembering the Apollo 11 moon walk that took place on July 20, 1969. MoonPies 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.

 

 

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 Moonpies. In the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada a similar product is called “Wagon Wheels” and in Japan, “Choco Pie” and the smaller-sized “Angel Pies” by Morinaga.

Some South Korean and 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.

 

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