MoonPie goes oversize for lunar landing party

MoonPie goes oversize for lunar landing party

July 19th, 2009 by Adam Crisp in News

Staff Photo by Allison Kwesell A 55-pound Moon Pie sits on a box to be shipped to the Kennedy Space Center at the Neil Armstrong Museum in Wapakoneta, Oh., in honor of the 40th anniversary of the first person to land on the moon.

Staff Photo by Allison Kwesell A 55-pound Moon Pie...

Chattanooga was making MoonPies during World Wars I and II, the Great Depression and, yes, the gooey Manufacturers Road confections were being churned out 40 years ago when man first walked on the moon.

So on Monday, when the anniversary of the lunar landing is observed at space-related sites all over the country, Chattanooga Bakery will make sure its pies are at a handful of the celebrations.

Moon landing, MoonPie ... get it?

"I remember watching the moon landing on TV when I was a kid," said Chattanooga Bakery CEO Sam Campbell IV. "The astronauts were so big then and the whole NASA thing was larger than life. ... What a treat it is to participate in this wonderful celebration in some small way."

Huge MoonPies -- too big to fit in the back of a small pickup truck -- will be served Monday at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. A 55-pound pie will be served at the Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

"We plan on serving up the delicious MoonPie for our visitors at our Rocket Garden," said Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Center spokeswoman Andrea Farmer. "We are just thrilled to have it and can't believe the massive size of this MoonPie."

Ms. Farmer said a NASA astronaut will be on hand for the celebration, although she didn't say which one. The crew from Apollo 11 will be in Washington, D.C., for an official celebration.

Chattanooga Bakery also will send mini-MoonPies to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington on Monday, along with another 7,000 single-decker pies to the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., for a Thursday event. And another 3,000 will be served at Boeing offices in Seattle, Wash.

Making the massive MoonPies is a big project, said bakery spokesman Tory Johnston. In all, it takes about eight hours to bake, stuff with marshmallow, coat in chocolate and decorate each titanic pie. The monsters pack a whopping 45,000 calories, but can feed up to 300 people, Mr. Johnston said.

The two prodigious pies bound for Washington and Cape Canaveral were shipped out last week. Each measures 40 inches wide and 6 inches tall, with 14 pounds of marshmallow and 6 pounds of chocolate, and stand at the record for the largest pie created.

Chattanooga Bakery made a similar-sized pie for the Mobile, Ala., New Year's 2009 celebration.

GIANT MOONPIES

* 55 pounds

* 40 inches wide

* 6 inches in height

* 45,000 calories

Source: Chattanooga Bakery

Company officials said that for now they plan to make the big pies for only events where they want to spread their marketing message. So, though they get lots of requests, giant MoonPies aren't available for order from the general public, Mr. Johnston said.