This great American snack was created more than a century ago in 1917. While there remains a nostalgic deliciousness about them, just how did the Moon Pie capture our hearts and taste buds?
Earl Mitchell looked up at the moon...
As the sweet story goes...
It was a sultry, warm night in Tennesse, when travelling salesman and bakery worker Earl Mitchell, was met with a group of coal miners. These workers wanted a satisfying snack that they could eat quickly on their short breaks.
At that momentous moment, as American legend has it, Earl Mitchell looked up into the Kentucky full moon, and his epically delicious idea was born. He exclaimed he was going to make a snack "as big as the moon".
Being inspired by the beautiful moon and the hungry coal miners. Mr. Mitchell made his way to the Chattanooga Bakery and explained to them his sweet idea.
Fortunately for Earl ( and the rest of us) the bakery obliged and began creating this famous snack. Earl explained the snack should consist of two big round graham cookies, some marshmallow filling and a chocolate coating. Also, the size of this snack should be as big as the moon!
History of the Chattanooga Bakery
The MoonPie was born! And oh how sweet it was! The Chatanooga Bakery began to turn out this snack at an abundant rate! The coal miners could cure their hunger pangs and the bakery would find great success in this new creation.
The Chatanooga Bakery which is an integral part of Moon Pie. It is still churning out Moon Pies today! The now-famous bakery got its start in 1902. The bakery had a parent company, the Mountain City Flour Mill. The mill would send the bakery all of its excess flour and the bakery's responsibility was to turn the flour into something profitable. This meant baking lots of cookies!
Chattanooga Bakery, 1929. Factory ladies would box over and up to hundreds of MoonPies everyday!
Marshmallow Sandwich vs Cookie
While albeit delicious, the cookies were just no match for the new and yummy kid on the block, the Moon Pie! However, the cookies did feed the coal miners in the Appalachians but the bakery was frequently met with complaints from the miners that the cookies were just not substantial enough to fill their hungry, hardworking bellies!
When the Moon Pie first came out they were not only known for such toothsome taste but their large size. They were much bigger than the average snack and sold for just five cents. Consumers decided that these pies paired exceptionally well with RC Cola, which was also sold for five cents. This meant that for a dime you could have a fantastic tasting lunchtime pairing! This pair became a hot commodity, especially for the working class.
The sweet Moon Pie rose to fame rapidly in the 1920s and 30s, becoming an American snack staple. These sweet sandwiches were even sent to soldiers overseas. Something that the makers of Moon Pies do to this day! Besides the soldiers, Moon pies found their way into the lunchboxes and pockets of hungry workers who travelled north to the Steel Mills of Chicago and the automobile plants in Detroit.
New Moon Pie flavours were added
During the 1960-70s the brand had evolved into a snack giant! This meant that the Chatanooga Bakery was so immensely popular with the Moon Pie's that they had to cease all production of other baked goods to focus on the magical pie's! While the original sweet sandwich dominated the ever busy bakery's production they eventually came out with some new Moon Pie's. This included the Double Decker and the addition of brand new flavours like vanilla and banana.
One Million Moon Pies A Day!
The Chatanooga Bakery does very little in the form of advertising. But it keeps expanding to even greater levels of production. They currently produce over one million MoonPie daily! Yes, one million everyday!!! They have added some newer flavours that include Strawberry, Salted Caramel and a special Orange flavour that is only available once a year during Mardi Gras festivities.
600 Pound Moon Pie?!
This sweet American snack has grown into a national snacking pastime! It has also has been immortalized in the 1980s book " The Great Moon Pie Handbook" by Ron Dixon. This famous treat has become the customary choice to throw at Mardi Gras festivities, and in Mobile, Alabama the New Year is sweetly brought in by watching a 600 pound replica of the Moon Pie fall from the sky! Now that's what we call A happy New Year!
Once in a blue moon...
Yes, this is surely more than a sweet snack. It's woven through the very heart of America for over 100 years, and to think it was all inspired by the beautiful full moon. With a name that induces such sweetness and whimsy. The Moon Pie Marshmallow Sandwich is more than delicious, it's for many, a sentimental snack. That, lets face it, only comes around once in a blue moon!