There is a Mardi Gras tradition that you won’t find in New Orleans. All along parade routes from Mobile,AL to Pass Christian, MS you’ll find krewes of revelers, riding floats, throwing beads and trinkets along with some delicious Southern sweets. Of course I’m referring to the ubiquitous MoonPie. A unique Southern food that has been enjoyed for a century, still made where it all began right here in the South. Here’s a look at this wonderful, bite sized, sweet.
The MoonPie brand was founded by the Chatanooga Bakery in 1917, to please the wants of local Tennessee coal miners for a lunch treat sandwich about the size of the “moon”. In an attempt to fill this desire, Earl Mitchell, Sr., bakery salesmen, noticed some graham crackers covered with marshmallow filling left out to dry in the bakery and the idea arose to add another graham cracker and dip it all in chocolate. This sweet sandwich was a huge hit with the miners and so it became a regular item for the bakery. So began the Southern lunch, a MoonPie and a RC cola for all the laborers, working their way out of the great depression. The growth continued, and this legendary Moon shaped sweet is still a favorite amongst Southerners everywhere. To this day folks still think RC cola when they reach for a MoonPie, without ever knowing it was first a lunch before it was ever a snack.
It’s amazing how so many wonderful foods in the South carry such great stories. It just confirms that Southern history is best told through our rich ingredients and cast iron skillets. To this day I love a MoonPie and an RC cola because it brings back such great childhood memories. I can remember scrambling as a kid to pick up the fallen MoonPies on the road during Mardi Gras, and enjoying every last bite. The ultimate is a MoonPie ice cream sandwich; 2 MoonPies with your favorite ice cream slapped in the middle and left to harden in the freezer. Don’t forget an RC float if you have some left over ice cream, we’d hate for it to go to waste.
Never had a MoonPie? Here is your chance to win a box of Original MoonPies. Leave a comment below telling us your favorite ways to eat graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate or your favorite way to eat a MoonPie. We’ll pick 3 random winners and mail you a box of original MoonPies for your own enjoyment, just to share the love. Write us a recipe that uses MoonPie as an ingredient, if we choose it as a post we’ll include a T-Shirt as well. Stay Hungry Y’all!
-The Hungry SouthernerWINNERS ARE: Congrats y’all!
1. Joyce @friendsdriftinn 2. CC Recipe @ccrecipe
3. Nick @cupboards
Thanks to the MoonPie website for the great history of how it all came about.
28 responses to “Southern Culture – The MoonPie”
Always packed these in my father-in-law’s lunch bucket. He was a KY coalminer. Sometimes we would nuke them just a few seconds…great warm with a scoop of ice cream!
Yes they are great warm.
Congrats on winning. Email us your address so we can mail you your delicious MoonPies. Thanks for reading The Hungry Southerner!
Gosh, I haven’t had a moon pie in years! We had them all the time growing up in south Georgia. Do you remember the banana flavored ones? Don’t know if they still make those.
They do still make Banana and they still taste as good as ever!
I learned about MoonPies at an early age from both my parents and grandparents. Spending summers fishing with my granddad, and having a celebratory moon pie and glass bottled coke (2 moon pies if we didn’t catch anything). To say the least there is nothing like it on a hot summer day in the south. I like the warmed in the microwave for a few seconds and served with a scoop or two of ice cream.
I was born and raised in Chattanooga and know the Moon Pie story well. It was always a treat for us kids. I always liked to eat mine as slowly as possible, to make it last longer! We were not allowed to have “cokes” as kids but we knew that a Moon Pie was supposed to go along side of an ice cold RC cola. Another big treat for us was dropping roasted salted peanuts in to cokes (small glass bottle only). You drank the coke and then ate the peanuts and it took some time to get all of those peanuts out of the bottom of the bottle. A snack size package of Lance peanuts from the treats machine at the beauty shop. We felt so special when we got to go the beauty shop with our “Mamaw”.
Correction: Moon Pies are now thrown by a variety of krewes and they even make a smaller perfect portion size with MG packaging.
That’s awesome. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mardi Gras packaging, will have to look for it next year. Glad to hear New Orleans if finally catching up to the rest of the Coast !
Wow, Pam – I thought no one else put Lance peanuts in cokes!! I remember doing that when stopping at a gas station on the way to visit my Mamaw!
Awesome! That was always a real treat. And how lucky are we….both had a “Mamaw”.
Pam you must really like our blog. I noticed you did a Praline post and MoonPie post on the same day we did.
My favorite way to eat graham crackers, marshmallow and chocolate is in MoonPie form, of course! I love the classic single-deckers, and the minis are perfect for a quick snack 🙂
I’ve managed to miss the minis that everyone is talking about. I’ll have to find them.
My wife and I introduced my son to smores this weekend. We were helping my sister move from Augusta to Michigan and everything was packed up but the stove still worked so we bought the ingredients and roasted the marshmallows over one of the electric coils and made them traditionally sans campfire. It’s hard to beat chocolate, graham cracker and roasted marshmallow, but there are plenty of ways to play with it.
How awesome is that.
As I sit here, I can actually imagine the aroma of a Moon Pie even though it’s been decades since I had one. Our family version was a Coke and Moonpie.
There is a banana pudding recipe I have had in my recipe files that include moon pies that I have yet to try but have wanted to for years, If I win this I will soooo make it:)
Best way to enjoy a Moon Pie is with good friends on the tailgate of a pick-up truck, summer afternoon with RC in hand.
(Or just crush ’em up and use as a topping over some homemade vanilla ice cream)
My favorite way to eat a Moon Pie is right out the package. It has to be Banana.
I used to get these out of the vending machine at school every day when I was a kid. Amazing. Love the original and the banana. I dont get them as often as I would like anymore, but when I can find them I always indulge. So good!
Here’s the weird thing. I’ve spent my entire life in Georgia, the large bulk of it in small towns or extremely rural areas and I’ve never even had an RC Cola. I think that’s more of a north Georgia and Tennessee thing or something. I always noticed more ads for it on our trips up north as a kid. I’ve had plenty of Moon Pies, though.
My favorite way to eat a Moonpie is to microwave it. We also give them out as Halloween candy to all the neighborhood kids!
I miss easy access to Moon Pies. I am an Alabama girl living elsewhere. My mom went to get some to celebrate the anniversary of the moon landing and she was told they were seasonal. So when exactly is Moon Pie Season? And what’s my bag limit?
I grew up on moon pies. We did the peanuts in Pepsi instead of coke. I haven’t seen the full sized moon pies in years just the small ones in the multi box at Dollar General.
Big, big fan of the moonpie. Always a good standby! Or main course.
I too grew up eating Moon Pies. Growing up my Dad was always off of work on Wed. so Wed. was Daddy day. He would take us where ever he went that day and we got to help him work around the farm. Almost always had Moon Pie and RC when we took a break from whatever we were doing. Peanuts in coke was also a favorite at our house along with a pack of “Nabs”.