|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 is an American snack, 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 weight, and a double-decker moon pie of the traditional diameter features a third cookie and an additional layer of marshmallow. The five primary flavors are chocolate, vanilla, banana, strawberry, and salted caramel. Orange and coconut appear seasonal during the Mardi Gras parading season.
According to Chattanooga Bakery, they came up with the idea for moon pies when a traveling salesman for the company asked a Kentucky coal miner what kind of snack he would like to eat, and the miner requested something with graham crackers and marshmallows. Popular folklore, repeated and encouraged by the Chattanooga Bakery itself, states the miner then asked that the snack be "as big as the moon", which inspired the name "moon pie".
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, MoonPie returned to its 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 MoonPie as well as mini MoonPies.
Festivals and customs
Association with RC Cola
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."
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 natural junk food high."
In the 1999 film The Green Mile, a character named Toot is drinking a glass bottle of RC Cola, and when he is about to eat his Moon Pie, a death row inmate named Wild Bill offers him a nickel for his Moon Pie.
In Mobile, Alabama
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.
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).
|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
- Once in a Blue Moon (Blueberry) (introduced June 2023)
Moon Pie Crunch
- Peanut Butter
In the northern areas of the U.S., a similar product exists called a "Scooter Pie" and 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 similar. In South America, a similar treat is "Alfajor," and more than 20 brands marketed as "alfajores" are very popular. Nestlé manufactures similar sweets called "Holiday," which are available in the Balkan countries.[Citation needed]
- Chocolate-coated marshmallow treats
- Fluffernutter, another kind of marshmallow creme-based sandwich
- Whoopie pie
- "About Us – MoonPie". MoonPie. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
- "The Heavenly Appeal of MoonPies". npr.org. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
- Sacks, Brianna. "This Is Who's Behind MoonPie's Hysterically Weird Twitter Account". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
- Alund, Natalie Neysa (December 19, 2017). "MoonPie roasts Twitter critics, defending century-old marshmallow, graham cracker, and chocolate snack". USA Today. Retrieved September 14, 2022.
- "Larry Groce — Junk Food Junkie". Genius.com.
- "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.
- "Mobile's Moon Pie rising". Press-Register. January 2009. 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.
- "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).
- Blejwas, Emily (2019). "MoonPies: Mardi Gras in Mobile". The Story of Alabama in Fourteen Foods. University of Alabama Press. ISBN 9780817320195.