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Whoopie Pies Could Become Top Dessert In Maine

A bill to name whoopie pies Maine's state dessert has started a debate over whether the treats are too unhealthy.


Photo: omnomtreats (flickr)

Maine's legislature is trying to make whoopie pies the state's official dessert.

Delicious dessert or lard-delivery vehicle? The whoopie pie is up for scrutiny in Maine, and the debate is getting heated.

The Maine Debate

After a bill was introduced to the state legislature to officially name whoopie pies the state dessert, nutritionists and some legislators fought back, saying government support of the dessert was in poor taste when paired with Maine’s growing obesity problem. One state legislator dismissed the whoopie pie as a “frosting delivery vehicle.”

Their solution? Wild blueberry pie. Not only does it have fruit in it, but wild blueberries are the official state fruit of Maine.

The pro-whoopie contingent countered with a nutritionist who said some variations can include healthful ingredients, like pumpkin and peanut butter. Even the chocolate, she said, can be okay so long as it’s real.

Many Maine residents are getting in on the debate, too. One man attended a committee debate over the bill wearing a whoopie pie costume, while a class of fourth graders wrote their representative to clarify that the pie is technically a snack not a dessert.

A Sweet Tradition

Whoopie pies are typically made by sandwiching two small chocolate cakes with extra-creamy frosting. The frosting often includes shortening as an ingredient and plenty of butter and sugar in the cakes.

Labadie’s Bakery in Lewiston, Maine has been baking them since 1925, longer than anywhere else in the country. Though a fire in the bakery destroyed any official proof of this, Maine residents cite that as an unofficial claim on inventing the snack.

The sweet debate will rage on until February 9, when the committee plans to meet and make their decision.

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Carrie Schedler

Carrie Schedler is a senior at Indiana University studying journalism, English and French. She's originally from Columbus, Ohio, and still dreams often about salty caramel ice cream from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams and baguettes from her semester abroad in Paris. Hopefully, she'll learn how to cook eventually.

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