Moon Pie: Biography of an Out-of-This-World Snack
by David Magee
Sometime around 1917 the Chattanooga Bakery rolled out what at the time was just another baked good in their lineup, a marshmallow-graham cracker sandwich coated with chocolate. According to one account, the treat was inspired by a salesman asking a group of coal miners what they wanted in a snack. One of them replied that he wanted something as big as the moon, and the name stuck. From these humble beginnings the Moon Pie turned into a Southern icon, and eventually became the Chattanooga Bakery’s only product, at first touted as a “working man’s lunch,” due to the large portions and low cost.
In this age of product tie-ins and saturated promotion campaigns, it is refreshing to find that the Moon Pie’s popularity evolved naturally, through word of mouth and product satisfaction. In fact, Chattanooga Bakery has only had one advertising campaign in the almost ninety years of the snack, and the company remains in the hands of the family who founded it.
David Magee is a columnist for the Chattanooga Times Free Press who has written several business history books, and has a reporter’s eye for detail. He also loves a telling anecdote and has blended a history of one of the few remaining family-owned independent big businesses with testimonials from satisfied customers who recall their memories of the Moon Pie. Magee is able to blend the reminisces and his own history with the Moon Pie seamlessly into the larger work, avoiding corny sentimentality and this adds to the history portion of the book, showing both the loyalty and memories associated with the snack sandwich.
Magee closes the book with a few recipies and some interesting Moon Pie facts you can use to impress at the next social gathering you find yourself at. For example, did you realize North Carolina Moon Pie consumption is almost equal to that of tortillas in Mexico?
Like the Moon Pie itself, Biography of an Out of this World Snack is filling and satisfying, and sure to be of interest to Food Network obsessives, business history enthusiasts and lovers of tasty treats.
Jefferson Press: www.jeffersonpress.com