The first MoonPies were made at a bakery in Chattanooga TN in 1917. Earl Mitchell came up with the idea for MoonPies when he asked a Kentucky coal miner what kind of snack he’d like to eat. The answer: something with graham cracker and marshmallow and dipped in chocolate. When Mitchell asked how big it should be, the miner looked up in the night sky and framed the full moon with his hands.
It’s hard to find someone in the South who doesn’t get nostalgic about moon pies. There is a custom of Moonpies with R.C. Cola. In the 1950s, Big Bill Lister, a country music singer, sang about them in “RC Cola and Moon Pie,” but no one knows exactly why the soft drink and chocolate snack became famous together. The most popular theory: During the Depression, they were both cheap (a nickel a piece), and they came in bigger servings than their competitors. For a dime, a MoonPie and an RC Cola quickly became known as the workingman’s lunch. In the North they were also called Scooter pies named after Major league shortstop Phill “Scooter” Rizzuto.