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Moon Pies are a classic Southern treat produced by the Chattanooga Bakery in Chattanooga, TN. The story goes that jars of marshmallow crème had made their way down from New England to the Tennessee and it became very popular at many coal mines’ company stores. The miners started dipping graham crackers in marshmallow crème to create a sweet and satisfying treat during the workday. One day Earl Mitchell Sr., a representative from the Chattanooga Bakery, stopped by the mines to figure out what the bakery could make that would appeal to the workers, and they asked for graham crackers with marshmallows and chocolate. Legend says Earl asked how big it should be, and a miner framed his hands against the full moon in the sky that night.
The Chattanooga Bakery was intrigued with the idea, and began experimenting to find the perfect combination that would appeal to the workers. In 1917, they settled on two graham crackers sandwiching the marshmallow filling, all dipped in chocolate. The Moon Pie quickly became a favorite lunch for laborers and miners in and around Tennessee because at only 5 cents, it was a bargain for Depression-era wallets. For another 5 cents you could purchase an R.C. Cola to go along with it, and you had a meal. The combination inspired at least one country song, Big Bill Lister’s “RC Cola and a Moon Pie,” as well as a whole lot of Southern pride.
The Moon Pie has been a staple in Southern stores since then, eventually becoming the only product that the Chattanooga Bakery sold. They now have a variety of flavors and sizes and still based in Chattanooga, TN.