Unless you’re a terrible person a Moonpie is one of the best foods ever created. An old friend posted on Facebook about the 18th Annual RC Cola and Moon Pie festival in Bell Buckle, Tennessee. Bell Buckle’s population is only 500 but it swells into the thousands for this event. There are vendors, a 10 mile run, games, and it all culminates in the cutting of the world’s largest MoonPie. There is also a MoonPie “drop” on New Year’s Eve in Mobile AL. Needless to say, this Southern expat felt very jealous. To mitigate the jealously I went over to the local 7-11 to pick up two Moon Pies. An RC Cola and a Moon Pie is considered the Breakfast of Champions or Workingman’s Lunch in parts of the SouthEast. The Chattanooga Bakery website has a nice origin story circa 1910s Chattanooga:
It all began when Mr. Earl Mitchell Sr., a bakery salesman, visited a company store that catered to coalminers. The miners said they wanted something solid and filling, because they often didn’t get time to break for lunch. “About how big?” Mr Mitchell asked. A miner held out his hands, framing the moon, and said “About that big!” When Mitchell returned to the bakery, he noticed some of the workers dipping graham cookies into marshmallow and laying them on the window sill to harden. The idea of adding another cooking and a generous coating of chocolate was tried, and samples of this new Moon Pie were distributed. The response they got back was so enormous that the MoonPie became a regular item for the bakery.
It’s not clear why RC Cola goes hand in hand with it, but both cost a nickel which is hard to argue with. These days I prefer to eat MoonPies with coffee. ProTip: Heat it up for about 10 seconds. The marshmallow filling is delicious heated and the chocolate or vanilla melts just a wee bit. I grew up in Chattanooga, home of the Moonpie so it will always have a special place in my heart. MoonPies are truly a great southern invention.