Maine Fights Over Whoopie Pies

Backers want it to be the state dessert
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2011 6:12 PM CST
Maine Fights Over Whoopie Pies
A tray of whoopie pies at Cranberry Island Kitchen in Portland, Maine.   (AP Photo/Joel Page)

Food fight in Maine, and this one doesn't involve lobsters. Instead, it's about whoopie pies—"creamy frosting sandwiched by a pair of chocolate cakes," explains the Kennebec Journal for the uninitiated. Health food it's not, but whoopies are so beloved that the state legislature is considering a bill to declare them the official state dessert. This, of course, has the more nutrition-minded in a tizzy: "At a time when 31.3% of Maine's children are considered overweight or obese, do we want to glorify a dessert that lists lard as its primary ingredient?" asked one legislator.

Backers say the pies are old-fashioned comfort food—sales are way up in the economic downturn—and that critics should just lighten up. Another camp is pushing blueberries as a better choice, but the director of the state's Wild Blueberry Commission says he's not going there: "We just don't want to start a food fight." Still, he suggests a compromise: Maybe blueberries could become the state pie or state muffin. Legislators will resume the whoopie debate later in the month. (Read more Maine stories.)

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