Whoopie Pie: Maine, Pennsylvania Battle over Rights to Treat
Maine and Pennsylvania are duking it out over the whoopie pie, a beloved dessert that consists of a creamy vanilla filling between two round chocolate cakes. Both states lay claim to the pie's origins, and the disagreement has led to a sportive feud in recent weeks.
The debate began in January when Maine state Rep. Paul Davis introduced a bill to make the whoopie pie Maine's official state dessert. A legislative committee has since altered the bill to make it the official state "treat," The Associated Press reports.
Amos Orcutt, president of the Maine Whoopie Pie Association, lobbied Davis to create the bill after reading an article in the New York Times that claimed Pennsylvania to be the rightful home of the snack. Davis says he has traced the pie's origins in his home state as far back as 1925.
The bill provoked a public outcry from Pennsylvanians, including members of the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitors Bureau in Lancaster, Penn., who created the website saveourwhoopie.com
John Smucker, CEO of the company that owns Pennsylvania's Bird-in-Hand Bakery, says the treats date back generations to Lancaster County's Amish families.
"We've had this thing going with the whoopie pie here for years and years and decades," Smucker told AP. "And all of a sudden they try to enter into the picture ... It's just a bunch of nonsense."
Visitors bureau spokesman Joel Cliff told AP that 1,700 signatures have been collected for an online petition "objecting to any other state, county or town claiming the whoopie pie as its own."
On Feb. 19, 100 residents rallied in downtown Lancaster in protest of Maine's bill.
"We thought we would organize as many people as possible to stand up and say, 'You're not going to take our heritage from us,'" organizer Josh Graupera told AP. "This is a Lancaster County tradition."