After KAHP recent snack episode I decided to look in the history of Chocopie the beloved dessert from Korean with its chocolate covered marshmallow sandwiched between two cakes. It was interesting to learn that it was first chocolate pie concept was from “1917 in the American South. Chattanooga Bakery in Chattanooga, Tennessee created the Moon pie with Graham crackers and marshmallow filling which is similar to the Choco Pie of nowadays.
Tongyang R&D, the snack company of South Korea, began selling a similar type of chocolate cake with marshmallow filling named 'Orion Choco Pie' in 1974. A member of the company was inspired by a chocolate-coated cake in a restaurant in a hotel in the U.S. state of Georgia on a business trip. After he got back to Korea, he made many experiment to make that kind of chocolate cake. Finally, he created the Choco Pie as it is known to Koreans now. Later Tongyang R&D changed its name into Orion Confectionery because of the success of 'Orion Choco Pie'. In addition, similar versions of Choco Pie were produced by Lotte Confectionary and Crown Confectionery.” (https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choco_pie)
I am very skeptical of the Orion history since I am all too familiar with Korean revisionism regarding history. The Moon Pies were an army favorite back in the days of war and with the major influence of G.I.s from the states like SPAM with budaejigae. I’m sure Moon Pies was distributed during the Korean war.
Like this article from an old U.S. vet’s blog “During WW II folks would send packages to their deployed family members, fighting in the war. The big problem was sending them to the Pacific theater. In the heat a Marine from Mississippi would have an interesting time trying to eat his Moon Pies, on the sandy beaches of Guadal Canal. But a Moon Pie is a southern delight and I would imagine that Marine was able to adapt, overcome and improvise, to enjoy his treat from home.
In 1950 Big Bill Lister sang a song about RC Cola and a Moon Pie. There was really no connection between the two items, except for perhaps the size. Moon Pies were big and RC Cola was sold in larger size bottles, than its soft drink competitors, so an RC Cola and a Moon Pie was a good buy during the depression of the 1930s.” (https://www.ammoland.com/2015/08/moon-pie-therapy-for-active-duty-or-old-vets/#axzz5VTMCR3jI)
Anyhow, I’m happy for this snack to make it’s way to Korea. Funny enough it can be used as currency in North Korea. Enjoy.
(article by Han Kim)