Ah, MoonPies – that sweet marshmallow gooiness sandwiched between two graham cookies covered in delicious chocolate – really do have a taste that is out of this world. First sold out of country stores (along with an RC Cola), MoonPies once served as a humble meal for local Kentucky coal miners. A little over a hundred years later, today they’re making more than a million moon pies a day at the Chattanooga Bakery in Tennessee. And though, along with Goo Goo Clusters and Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls, they’ve long been considered a favorite snack of the South, you can actually find MoonPies all over the United States today from Maine to Maui and from Anchorage to Alabama.
So what’s the story about MoonPies?
Well, there are actually different stories as to its origins that include everything from coal miners to salesmen to aliens inventing the delicious treat; however, even though we here at Stuckey’s love a good story about extra-terrestrials bearing delicious treats that no mere earthling could have ever had the intelligence enough to invent on their own, we’re going to stick to the official story told on the MoonPie website. And like most good stories, it begins with a traveling salesman.
Many moons ago (about 1, 236, give or take a couple of blue moons here and there) there was a traveling salesman for the Chattanooga Bakery by the name of Earl Mitchell who was visiting the Appalachian region of Kentucky in 1917. One day, Earl ran into a group of coal miners and, after showing him his wares, the miners shook their heads. “We don’t want none of them things you’re selling there. What we want”, one of them said, holding his hands up and making a big circle with his fingers and thumbs, “is something as big as the moon.”
Earl reported his story back to the bakery who obliged the miners with the rather fittingly named “MoonPie”. The miners liked it because it was filling and fit into their lunch pails (assumedly next to their bottle of RC cola), and it only cost a nickel. Afterwards, they really took off like a rocket. By 1929, they were making hundreds of MoonPies a day.
In World War II, MoonPies became a staple of care-packages sent to American soldiers fighting overseas as a reminder of home. Returning servicemen and women remembered their favorite comfort food after the war, and along with the boom in babies came a boom in the production of MoonPies. Mothers saw them as a wholesome, filling snack and Boomers still recall eating MoonPies with a nostalgic fondness.
In the early 1960s young man from Minnesota came out with a popular song about the times a-changing, and indeed they were – and MoonPies were changing right along with them. The 1960s and 1970s saw the creation of the Double-Decker Deluxe MoonPie. New flavors were introduced as Vanilla and Banana MoonPies were produced alongside the traditional chocolate ones and more MoonPies were being sold than ever before.
Today, whatever flavor they prefer, everyone from 8 to 80 still loves to eat a MoonPie. In fact, so much love is shown to the MoonPie that the people of Bell Buckle, Tennessee, hold a festival every year to celebrate MoonPies and RC Cola.
“Now wait a minute”, you’re probably wondering, “What’s the deal with this RC Cola you keep mentioning?” Royal Crown Cola, or RC Cola as it’s popularly known, is a soft drink that some say is comparable in taste to Pepsi. Back in the 1950’s you could by an RC Cola and a MoonPie for a nickel each, earning them the moniker “a working man’s lunch.” There was even a song back then called Gimme an RC Cola and a MoonPie, made popular by “radio’s tallest cowboy”, Bill Lister.
Anyway, back to the festival, Bell Buckles population of 405 citizens (Saaaaaaaalute!) decided to hold a festival dedicated to RC Colas and MoonPies started back in 1992 for the MoonPies 75th Anniversary and it’s been held nearly every year since. People from all over the country flock to the small town of Bell Buckle the third Saturday of every June to partake in live music, dancing, contests, games, a parade, and the ceremonial cutting of the world’s largest MoonPie. The day kicks off with the RC-MoonPie 10-Mile Run, because, hey, might as well burn off all those calories early in the day so you can enjoy all of that free RC Cola and MoonPie all afternoon.
Speaking of Stuckey’s, on your way to or from the RC Cola and Moon Pie festival, don’t forget to make a stop at our nearest location and pick up some of our sweet treats, too. Whether it’s our famous Stuckey’s pecan log rolls (now in an even bigger 10 oz. size!) or our other fine pecan candies, don’t forget to get some extras for the folk back home. And what trip would be complete without a Stuckey’s t-shirt, cap or other Stuckey’s merchandise?
No Stuckey’s locations near you? No problem. You can still get our delicious Stuckey’s pecan log or other great pecan candies delivered right to your front door. How convenient is that? Find out more at stuckeys.com and once you’re through with your out-of-this-world MoonPies, enjoy our down-to-earth pecan treats.
Stuckey’s – Making Road Trips Fun Since 1937!
Whether your next road trip is by car or by rail, it’s not really a road trip without taking Stuckey’s along. From our world famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls to our mouthwatering Hunkey Dorey, Stuckey’s has all the road trips snacks you’ll need to get you where you’re going.
For all of the pecany good treats and cool merch you’ll need for your next big road adventure, browse our online store now!
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