On 27 December 2002 I ate my one and only Moon Pie.
I can provide the specific date because I kept travel journals for all my US road trips (and some other holidays). Heavily pregnant with my oldest son, we were travelling through the Southern States. Therefore, if I didn’t stop the car frequently to pee, I was stopping to snack on something. So it was that we found ourselves in a small town in Western Alabama. This was how I recorded the experience:
“[The town] contained a Dollar Store that was having a clearance sale but no option for eating so we went into a Piggly Wiggly supermarket, the first supermarket chain in the world, that was set amid grotty, run down shacks, some leaning over so far that they looked tipsy. I would like to claim that I bought something sensible to eat but, in reality, there was not much of nutritional value on sale and I did not want to pass up the opportunity to tick off another one of the ambitions [for this trip] on my list, which was to eat a Moon Pie. I had heard that this was a real southern snack and that it was the vision of a travelling salesman who gave the idea to a Chattanooga baker all the way back in 1919. Plus it’s made of marshmallow, cookie and chocolate and, therefore, sounded pretty delectable to me. I was, however, disappointed by my Moon Pie. It looked like a fat ‘Wagon Wheel’ biscuit but tasted like a dry, claggy, stale cake. When I looked at the list of ingredients, “and / or” was repeated several times, as if to suggest that the factory in Chattanooga that manufactures them uses whatever ingredients come to mind or hand and whatever was probably cheapest, such as hog fat and raccoon paws.”
Having failed to read my archived journal before supermarket shopping yesterday, however, I chanced upon some Moon Pies reduced to just a few cents so I frisbeed four of them into my trolley so that my kids could also experience a Moon Pie for the first time.
My children declared the Moon Pies to be “really, really good” and “yummy” and “delicious”. Either I got a really bad Moon Pie back in a corner of Alabama eleven years ago or my kids have palates that lack discernment and will, as such, eat anything that gives them a chocolate and sugar kick.
Next experiment: the Twinky!