Is it a cookie? A cake? A pie? A dessert sandwich? When it comes to the Maine whoopie pie, the answer is all of the above. In its most basic form, a whoopie pie is made up of two dark chocolate cake discs about the size of a hamburger bun with a layer of sweet, creamy, thick white frosting sandwiched between them. While the origins of the treat are up for debate, Maine claims to be the birthplace of its invention: The first whoopie pies came out of a Lewiston, Maine bakery in 1925.
I’ve been happily munching on Pennsylvania Dutch food for almost 50 years. My parents, and their parents before them, and on back, were born in central Pennsylvania, more or less ground zero for the cuisine. But trying to classify it isn’t easy, even for me. To begin with, the name is a misnomer: Pennsylvania Dutch fare has spread to Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and the Midwest. Tomake it more confusing, it’s not Dutch, either. The term evolved from the word “Deutsch,” the German word for German, which referred to German-speaking settlers who immigrated long ago to the Keystone State.
Dressing or stuffing? Pumpkin or sweet potato pie? Brine, baste, roast or deep-fry the bird? What you consider to be the “correct” answer to these and other culinary questions about our nation’s annual Thanksgiving feast depend largely on where you live.