I am a bit perplexed.
I’m not a real big fan of S’mores but I really like Moon Pies.
As best as I can figure, it’s because of the work that goes into a creating a S’more.
You gotta roast the marshmallow and then slide it off the fork between two pieces of Graham crackers and parts of a Hershey’s chocolate bar.
With a Moon Pie, you just unwrap it and chow down.
I like to chase mine with a Mountain Dew or even a glass of milk but a straight Moon Pie is fine for me.
Moon Pies have all the same basic ingredients as S’mores…Graham crackers, marshmallow filling and that chocolate coating.
But with S’mores, you also need a source of fire and that further complicates the process. That’s what also ties them in to camping out or backyard barbecues.
Truth be known, Moon Pies have been around since 1917.
There’s a story which says a travelling salesman (Earl Mitchell) saw some miners dipping Graham crackers into marshmallow sauce or cream.
Mitchell asked them if they’d like a snack while on break and one asked for something with Graham crackers and marshmallows “as big as the moon”.
The Chattanooga Bakery in Chattanooga, TN started cranking them out and the rest is history.
They started out at 5 cents a piece and during the Depression, an RC Cola and a Moon Pie set you back a dime.
That’s how that got to be known as the “working man’s lunch” in hard times.
In World War II, Moon Pies went to the front lines to bring a little bit of home to the troops.
Today, Moon Pies come in different sizes and flavors.
There are “Double Decker Deluxe Moon Pies”, vanilla and banana, salted caramel, strawberry, lemon and even orange ones for Mardi Gras time.
There’s a Moon Pie Crunch with peanut butter or mint flavor, too.
The Chattanooga plant makes a million pies a day.
It’s not clear how Moon Pies got teamed up with RC Cola but it’s been a staple south of the Mason-Dixon line for years.
There’s even an “RC-Moon Pie Festival” every 3rd Saturday in June in Bell Buckle, TN.
It got started on the 75th anniversary of Moon Pies.
The event includes games, music, entertainment, cloggers and contests.
A 10 mile run starts the festivities, plus a parade and the crowning of the King and Queen, topped off with the cutting of the world’s largest Moon Pie.
I guess you can also get a deep fried Moon Pie there.
If you like your Moon Pies, you can also stand along the parade route of the Mobile, Alabama Mardi Gras since they toss out Moon Pies from the floats.
I might want to go just for that.
Beats those beads in New Orleans.
If you go to the Moon Pie website, you can even design your very own box of the tasty treats, complete with a photo or company logo, a personal greeting or just about anything else.
There are actual Moon Pie General Stores in Chattanooga, Pigeon Forge and Lynchburg, TN as well as the aforementioned Mobile, Alabama.
Moon Pies have made it to the electronic media, too.
There was a Simpson’s episode where they were on sale at the Kwik-E-Mart.
In a “Buffy and the Vampire Slayer” episode, it was stated “that although the full moon can bring out the worst qualities of mankind, it, ironically also lead to the invention of the Moon Pie.”
In the “Big Bang Theory” and it’s prequel, “Young Sheldon”, Sheldon calls his grand mother “Meemaw” and she, in turn, calls him “Moon Pie.
In the 1981 film, “Cannonball Run”, Burt Reynolds refers to Dom Deluise as a “round, orange Moon Pie with a white hat on”.
How about “The Green Mile” movie when “Wild Bill” chews up a Moon Pie and spits it in the face of a guard.
A terrible waste of a perfectly good Moon Pie if you ask me.
Now, the RC part of the “RC Cola and a Moon Pie” starts with Claude Hatcher, a Georgia pharmacist, who invented the drink in 1905.
He was working with his father at the Hatcher Grocery Company but left that when the cola business took off.
The Royal Crown Cola company at times challenged the big boys of the soft-drink industry, coming out with the first canned soda, the first caffeine-free soda and the first 16 ounce bottle.
Royal Crown morphed into Nehi with orange and grape sodas and their Diet Rite cola took a more weight-conscious nation by storm.
My Kentucky roommate while I was serving with the USAF in Greenland used to get Peach Nehi and jars of marshmallow cream mailed from home.
He’d “scoop and sip” for hours.
Not a stretch for me to see a southern connection to the RC Cola and a Moon Pie there.
As a matter of fact, Bill Lister had a 1950 country tune, “Give me a RC Cola and a Moon Pie”.
There are others who try to ride the Moon Pie coattails, too.
There are “Scooter Pies”, “Mallomars” and even “Little Debbie Marshmallow Pies” and in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada you might encounter “Wagon Wheels”.
Moon pies, those low fat but high sugar and carb treats are tough on dieters.
But when a splurge is in order, I might be looking for a Moon Pie.