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What is a Moon Pie?

Michael Pollick
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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In the Deep South region of the United states, few snack foods have reached the iconic status of a Moon Pie. Combined with an RC or Double Cola, the Moon Pie is considered a nearly perfect meal for many native Southerners. While other regions of the country may have their Scooter Pie or their Whoopie Pie, only one bakery in Chattanooga, Tennessee can claim ownership of the original Moon Pie recipe.

According to legend, the Chattanooga Bakery Company was formed in order to find uses for its parent company's excess flour. An employee named Earl Mitchell spoke with a number of coal miners in the company's sales territory and asked them what an ideal snack would look like. They described a substantial cookie and marshmallow snack that could fit in their lunch boxes. When Mitchell asked how large this proposed snack should be, one miner is said to have pointed at the full moon.

Mitchell then took these ideas back to the bakery, where he happened to notice some graham cracker cookies covered with a marshmallow fluff cooling on a windowsill. Mitchell added a second graham cracker cookie and dipped the entire concoction in chocolate. The result was the first Moon Pies, and the bakery decided to produce the snack on a much larger scale, eventually dedicating all of its production lines to Moon Pie manufacturing.

The original Moon Pie produced exclusively by the Chattanooga Bakery, Inc. is still being sold around the world today. The original chocolate flavored coating has been supplemented with vanilla, banana, strawberry and other flavors. A miniature version of the Moon Pie has also been developed. As of this writing, there is no diet or low-carb version of the snack available, but homemade variations using alternative ingredients are still possible.

During Mardi Gras celebrations in Mobile, Alabama, it is not unusual for parade participants to throw Moon Pies to the crowds along the streets. The small town of Oneonta, Alabama still holds an annual Moon Pie eating contest, with RC Cola as the only sanctioned soft drink available to contestants. The contest is said to have started when the manager of a local Walmart store accidentally ordered too many Moon Pies and needed to find a way to eliminate the overstock.

Snack foods similar to the original Moon Pie include Scooter Pies and Whoopie Pies, although many Moon Pie enthusiasts would say those offerings are mere imitations of the one and only Moon Pie brand manufactured in Chattanooga, Tennessee since 1917.

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Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to WiseGeek, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.
Discussion Comments
By anon249322 — On Feb 20, 2012

What is that recipe?

By anon81478 — On May 01, 2010

Having grown up in the Northeast, I'd say the Scooter Pie (which I had as a kid) was certainly a "clone" of the Moon Pie, but the Whoopie Pie is something quite different from either of those. To call a Whoopie Pie a "mere imitation" of the Moon Pie is also incorrect, as the Whoopie derives from a traditional Amish desert that predates the Moon Pie.

These days, commercially made Whoopie filling tends to be too sugary sweet and frosting-like for my taste, but we can still get locally made ones that have that great creamy filling that's "just right". Although the chocolate Whoopie with vanilla creme filling is traditional, pumpkin Whoopies are a great treat at Thanksgiving, as are cranberry Whoopies with nuts. A blueberry Whoopie makes a great sugar-rush breakfast on the go.

By anon45501 — On Sep 17, 2009

Moon Pies are kind of gross.

By anon32082 — On May 15, 2009

While it's true about the grape soda, a grape Ne-Hi and a Moon pie, were always secondary to an RC(a big Neddy) and a Moon Pie. I had forgotten about those in my youth, in the south. My old buddy and I used to consume many.

By anon31977 — On May 14, 2009

"What's an RC?"

Royal Crown cola.

By anon31971 — On May 14, 2009

RC [Royal Crown] Cola is just a brand of soda/pop that originated in Georgia and is most popular in the south-east.

On a separate note, Moon Pies are also pretty popular in S. Korea. (pronounced 'choco moon pa-ees')

By Diwiyana — On May 14, 2009

The Moon Pie is also readily available in Texas, which ain't hardly *deep* South, but Southwest. I have eaten it also in Oklahoma. But a diet version?! I mean really!! What would be the point? If you want to go on a diet, go eat rabbit food. If you want somethin' that tastes good, have a Moon Pie and an RC Cola and git yer sugar rush. Cain't git no sugar rush with celery.

By Goosebeat — On May 14, 2009

What is an RC?

By anon31948 — On May 14, 2009

In the deep South in factories moon pies tend to be consumed with grape soda.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to WiseGeek, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range...
Learn more
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