Maine is considering some serious legislation regarding whoopie pies. They are considering making the whoopie pie the official state dessert. Whoopie pies consist of two cake-like cookies sandwiching a creamy, frosting-like filling, rather like an inside-out cupcake. They’re a new England tradition and their origin is not credited to Maine, but they’re extremely popular in the state, which has several large commercial bakeries that produce hundreds of thousands of whoopie pies daily. The legislation may not sound serious, but this bill is actually causing quite a ruckus whoopie pie fans in another state: Pennsylvania.
In Pennsylvania Dutch country, they contend that whoopie pies were originally an Amish treat and that Maine is trying to steal the tradition of the pies from Pennsylvania. Some proponents of the Pennsylvania whoopie are trying to convince legislators in the state to adopt the whoopie pie as the state dessert before Maine is able to. It seems like a silly thing to get worked up about, especially because a state dessert is really a small nod to a product or dish, and wouldn’t necessarily have an impact on sales, but there is a lot of pride involved in making and eating these classic American treats.
For me, whoopie pies are an enjoyable treat no matter where they originally came from. No matter which state ends up adopting it, it won’t make the cakes any less tasty to people outside of that state, nor will it stop them from being an American classic for the rest of us.