Moon Pies

by Hagan on June 3, 2010

Moon Pie reviewsThese things fall into the category of “Things my mom wouldn’t buy me when I was growing up.” Not that this was a bad thing – I still got Little Debbie Oatmeal Pies even those had shortening inside them. It was weird what my mom picked not to get us, but I am sure I’ll use the same arbitrary system of telling my kids they can’t have artificial crap they see advertised through whatever medium they’re viewing their ads. Mine will make more sense, I’m sure.

I got these at Bass Pro Shops; they were in the checkout aisle/impulse buy area. I wanted to broaden my scope here at Wandering Foodie as far as food reviews go, so I decided to grab every one of them. Turns out there’s also Lemon, Blueberry, Peanut Butter, Green Tea … I understand them all but the last one.

Going through my memory files, I remembered the Moon Pie phenomenon as Southern in nature, and a bit of research proved this correct. They sure are crazy about their Moon Pies down South. In reading the wikipedia article, I found out that there’s a Moon Pie Eating Contest in Alabama.

There are many reasons why this is a bad idea. Let’s start with the Moon Pie nutritional data. I guess it could be worse. There could be trans fat in the Moon Pie! There is nothing healthy to say about this thing except for the absence of trans fat. Of course, it also doesn’t contain used hypodermic needles, but for some reason, that’s not what it says.

The other reason it’s a bad idea is because these things are basically sugar coated saltines. They call it a graham cracker, but it’s more like graham paper. I bit into the vanilla one:

vanilla Moon Pie

I could barely swallow, it was so dry. There was a thick chunk of Moon Pie stuck to the roof of my mouth that I had to reach in to remove after unsuccessfully tonguing the mass of concrete for a almost thirty seconds. Make it stop! For a second, I didn’t understand how anyone could eat these things. Too dry!

But wait! What is this type in red on the back …

Moon Pie packaging

Surely this will change things. As I was taking pictures of the Moon Pies on the plate, the strawberry pie rested on the Silestone countertop, I dropped the exposure a bit and managed to get a shot of the Moon Pie in it’s natural habitat:

strawberry Moon Pie in orbit

Then I plated the little guy and punched fifteen seconds into the microwave:

microwaved Moon Pie

It got pretty messy. I took a bite before it started crumbling in my hand and decided fifteen seconds was way too long.

I gotta say, microwaved, these things are so much better. It was like night and day. Unmicrowaved, I chose to throw away the rest of the Moon Pie after I had a bite. The dryness was too much. Nuked, it got moist, the marshmallow melted a bit, no graham paper got stuck to the roof of my mouth … It was a completely different confection.

I tried the banana Moon Pie next. Not good, but I’m not a fan of artificial banana anything, so it could be fantastic for those who are down. I’m not judging. Then I went for the chocolate:

And anyone who grew up in the 80s knows what it reminded me of:

Sudddenly S’Mores! The commercial starts with the oft ridiculed problem statement:

Boy: Gee! S’mores are hard to make.

(burning marshmallow oozes off stick into the campfire)

Girl: Not AGAIN!?!

Luckily, we’ve solved this problem for you and your life will never be the same again!

It’s not that s’mores are hard to make, they’re just inconvenient. No one thinks about s’mores for dessert anyway – you usually have them around a campfire (and now, at Cosi). Even making them in the microwave is a chore – the chocolate and marshmallow melt at different speeds in the microwave, so you wouldn’t get a consistent product if you threw everything in at once. My mom said that Nabisco missed the boat when they didn’t buy the rights to the Little Shop of Horrors song “Suddenly Seymour.” I felt like the name was inspired by the movie and Nabisco dodged the bullet by getting away with it. I don’t know how many years these things were around, and I’m not entirely sure why my mom bought them for us, but I do remember having a few of these growing up and I fuckin’ loved ‘em.

The chocolate Moon Pie came pretty close to the memory. I can wholeheartedly recommend it as a satisfying substitute for Suddenly S’mores. The Banana? Skip it. The orange, I mean, what do you want me to tell you? If you think you’d like an orangey, marshmallowy, graham papery confection for a snack or dessert, go for it.

Just make sure you microwave it.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Swiss Ball Exercises June 6, 2010 at 4:08 am

It’s posts like this that keep me coming back and checking this site regularly, thanks for the info!

[WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ’0 which is not a hashcash value.

JoseSPiano June 10, 2010 at 1:03 am

If you ever find yourself in Charleston, SC, you can stop into the MoonPie General Store – and they serve the proper classic accompaniment too: ice-cold RC Cola’a. -Although, truth be told, when in Charleston, I’d be sure to grab a seat at the bar at FIG and have Mike and Andrew take care of your libations, and savor Chef Mike Lata’s James Beard Foundation award-winning cooking.

Hagan June 10, 2010 at 7:43 am

I like your second option better!

JoseSPiano June 10, 2010 at 11:22 am

Well, that second option was always my first one.

Willard Whitten October 3, 2010 at 1:01 pm

We live in Roseburg, Oregon. We can never find the strawberry or orange moonpies. How do we get some?
Thank you.

Hagan October 3, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Willard, I’m not really sure. There are a lot of distributors out there that have sites that sell candy and confections you can’t get in stores where you are – I’ll bet that there aren’t many in stores in OR, so you’re probably going to have to do it online.

Tiffany January 13, 2011 at 10:37 am

A month ago I was wandering thr0ugh the aisle at Costco and spotted Moon Pies. I had to buy them. But a pack of TWELVE? I reasoned, “I’ll keep them at the store where there are four of us to get through them…that’s three each…and I don’t think they expire.” But why did I HAVE to get them? Darn childhood memory. As children, mom made us take swimming lessons so we’d be prepared should the boat flip or sink when we were out fishing with dad. I disliked swimming lessons. I couldn’t open my eyes in chlorinated water. I hated feeling cold before or after jumping in. I didn’t like being in a public pool where you just knew kids were peeing in the pool. But what I liked about the lessons: Afterward we got to choose something from the vending machine. My choice: Banana Moon Pie.

So I get the dozen Chocolate Moon Pies back to the store. Dennis says, “I hate chocolate.” I respond, “It’s mostly cake and marshmallow.” His nose still up at it. He’ll stick with the gingerbread men. Craig tries one, “CACK! TOO DRY!” We didn’t bother to see that “microwave me” request on the package. I think, perhaps, the bookkeeper had one. And our holiday helper had one. One is still in my car, crumbling away. And I hope to god I didn’t eat the rest on my own.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Hagan February 13, 2011 at 9:46 pm

You did end up microwaving the rest, yeah?

James December 22, 2011 at 4:23 am

I’m not sure why you bothered to write this review. Obviously you don’t usually eat this sort of fare so why bother now? Slumming. Want to emphasize epicurean sophistication vs. southern slobs that eat graham saltines .. err .. paper and dry cement? 30 seconds to tongue scrape it off the roof of your mouth? 30 seconds is a long time, my dog does that with peanut butter and we laugh and laugh .. you aren’t as cute as the dog and a bit dumber but prolly a lot funnier carrying on like her, what with you being a human and all. Hope you were alone when it happened, no guess it doesn’t matter, well maybe it does. Had you had someone watching and laughing at you, you would’ve known not to admit to it. And you complain about ingredients like you thought for 50 cent a piece you were buying the pinnacle of nutritional foods, Pork Belly Sliders. The circle jerk attitude you and your NYC clique don’t know you have towards the South is as unsophisticated, provincial, and inbred as you believe those qualities apply to others.

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