So, over ten years ago, I had discovered a Southern delicacy of pairing a Royal Crown Cola with a Moon Pie.
I drank R. C. Cola now and then in early childhood because my Paternal Grandparents were very frugal and R. C. is indeed the cheapest name brand cola there is. My parents on the other hand, especially my Mom fervently drank Coca-Cola. On and off since the age of nine, I had been a fervent Pepsi drinker, and especially since the age of twenty when I discovered their Wild Cherry version, which still to this day is my favorite soft drink.
I only consumed Moon Pies during Mardi Gras and Saint Patrick’s Day parades when they were thrown from floats to parade watchers. Growing up, we ate Little Debbies, especially the Oatmeal Creme Pie variety, more than anything else.
It was some time in 2009 or early 2010 when I had discovered the pairing of a Moon Pie with an R. C. Cola. I was researching scanners (as in the device used to listen in on two-way radio communications) and was reading about the Radio Shack Patrolman Radio receivers of the 1960s. Yes, the Patrolman line eventually included scanners, but before scanners being invented, the Patrolman radios were tuneable radios that initially covered either the VHF High or VHF Low Band and the AM (Medium Wave) Broadcast Band. These were very popular in the 1960s due to the high degree of civil unrest of the decade and citizens desiring to listen in on law enforcement communications. By the way, these communications were [almost] totally in the clear in those days. There was no encryption and certainly no digital communications. In my research, I discovered a picture of a Radio Shack Patrolman radio in the background and an individually-sized bottle of R. C. Cola with a wrapped Moon Pie in the foreground. That was the first time I had seen this combination.
Now as many of you know, I was born and raised in Southeast Louisiana. And yes I still reside there. Louisiana is certainly part of the South, at least physically, but the culture of Louisiana located below the U. S. Highway 190 corridor (give or take) is quite different from the rest of The South. For example, the white people here are mostly of French Canadian descent (Cajun-I have some in me.) There are also a few people of Parisian French ancestry here (myself included, as my surname suggests, and on both sides of my family.) In the heavily industrialized area between New Orleans and Baton Rouge along the Mississippi River, there is a high concentration of people with German ancestry (it is a lot like The Midwest, actually.) Among others, in the New Orleans area, there are people descended from Irish and Italian immigrants (quite similar to Brooklyn New York.) In rural parts of Louisiana, there are the Islenos, who are of Spanish ancestry (the Canary Islands, to be exact.) So this part of Louisiana is much more culturally diverse than the rest of the mostly Anglo-Saxon South. Therefore, some of the customs and traditions that are common and dear to most of the South are unknown to this part of Louisiana.
In more recent years, I had discovered that I do indeed have some more typical Southern (Anglo Saxon) roots on my Maternal Grandpa’s side. His ancestry comes not only from Germans and Irish people residing in Louisiana but also his ancestry can also be traced back to Mississippi and Alabama. It made perfect sense to me and explains a lot because I act more Southern than those that surround me. For example, I am Protestant as opposed to Catholic, although I was raised Catholic, at least in name only. I’m told that my writing and speech patterns sound more Southern, than Cajun though, my accent is a unique combination of New Orleans Y’at (which sounds similar to Brooklyn) and Cajun (which has a sound all of its own.) I’ve only known one or two other people who sounded like me and they were raised in a similar environment. I was not raised on Country Music, but acquired a taste for it in 2004. However, I think Country Music has had a sharp decline in quality since about 2013. I thoroughly enjoy listening to Redneck comedians and can relate to their humor. I am very Pro Second Amendment (which is indeed common between Cajuns and Rednecks, alike.) I am indeed attracted to plus-sized and super-sized ladies, a trait that is stereotypical of Redneck men, but I’ve since learned that men from all walks of life carry this trait. I frequently listen to scanners, another hobby many times associated with Rednecks. The only sport I will watch is NASCAR. I’m quite proficient at do-it-yourself projects when I need to be. I strive to be polite and mind my manners, which is highly valued in The South, but sadly not always in my part of Louisiana. And if I do it right, I can fry chicken just like Colonel Sanders. Therefore, I tend to associate and espouse more with Southern Culture than extreme South Louisiana Culture.
I think you, the reader, now get my point on how South Louisiana is different from the rest of The South.
The reason why I wrote all of this, was to explain how, despite technically growing up in The South, it wasn’t until adulthood that I discovered the combination of R. C. Cola and Moon Pie and when I did, it was totally by accident. However, I do have some true Southern blood pumping through my veins and I do indeed espouse its culture much better than the culture that surrounds me.
Moon Pies and Royal Crown Cola were both invented in Southern States, Tennesee and Georgia, respectively.
Moon Pies were invented as the result of a Kentucky coal miner suggesting to a Chattanooga bakery salesman upon being asked what kind of snack would he like the company to make. Legend has it, the miner told the salesman for the snack to have two round Graham cookies with marshmallow creme in the middle. He then proceeded to hold his hand up to the sky as if he were cupping the Moon in his hands and then continued that the snack should be “as big as The Moon.” The salesman took the miner’s request to heart and began producing Moon Pies, which were outselling all of their other baked goods. Initially, Moon Pies were plain, but soon afterward they were dipped in Chocolate. In later years they were dipped in other flavors such as Banana, Vanilla, and others.
Royal Crown Cola was ultimately invented over a dispute between a Columbus, Georgia, grocer and a Coca Cola salesman. The grocer thought that Coca Cola ought to give him a discount given the high volume of Coca Cola syrup he purchased from the company. The salesman refused. The grocer refused to ever purchase from Coca Cola again and began to formulate his own cola, ultimately coming up with Royal Crown Cola.
In my personal opinion, Royal Crown tastes better than Coke and almost as good as Pepsi, but due to its more affordable price, I drink R. C. more frequently than Pepsi. I think if R. C. followed Pepsi’s practices and used Cane Sugar in their drink, it would taste indeed as good as Pepsi. Coke typically uses HFCS in their American formula although, this wasn’t always the case. Had Coke continued using Cane Sugar, my Paternal Granpa may have been employed well into his 80s. He was a foreman at a local sugar factory and Coca-Cola was in the process of buying the plant. However, the deal fell through, the factory subsequently shut down and he was forced into retirement at the age of 61. I believe he genuinely wanted to be employed because, after retiring, he continued aggressively raising cattle and produce until the ripe old age of 89. He passed away at the age of 94. My Maternal Grandpa, on the other hand, worked for South Central Bell (now part of AT&T) but died twenty-nine years before I was born at the young age of only 42. He is the one that I inherit my Southern traits from and I am told how I take after him in so many ways. Like me, he was into technology and I wish he would have lived to be an old man so I could have known him and so he could have witnessed all of the great inventions that would come into existence after his death.
I would drink R. C. Cola sparingly as a child and hadn’t drunk it for years until about the age of 26, when I was purchased some at a convenience store in San Antonio, Texas. Immediately, I recognized that it tasted considerably better than Coke and almost as good as Pepsi. I would drink it from time to time for the next few years.
After a failed marriage, I moved into my own place in May of 2018. My residence is but a few feet from a Dollar General, so I do a considerable deal of shopping there. Dollar General is also a typically Southern entity, though probably not as glamorous. I may give that said retailer some business from my testimony of what can be purchased there and not at other stores (R. C. Cola being an example.) But I also find myself poking fun at The Dollar General, comparing the shopping experience there to that of shopping in the USSR and their satellite states. I even go as far as frequently referring to it as “The Ruble General”, but only in harmless jest.
But I frequently buy my soft drinks at The Dollar General. And R. C. Cola is sold at the rate of 2 Liters for $1.00+tax. There are other quantities at which it is sold there but I don’t immediately recall the price. Coke and Pepsi most of the time are sold there for $1.80+tax unless they are on sale. I’m on a disability pension, so I must needs make my money stretch. I also buy some snacks at The Dollar General. A box of six Miniature Moon Pies can be had for, I think, also $1.00+tax. I would say that is indeed a bargain, considering inflation!
It was some time in 2020, around the time when Coronavirus became an issue that, I finally decided to try a Moon Pie and an R. C. Cola together. I indeed purchased them at my local Dollar General. I instantly enjoyed the combination and have been purchasing them ever since. As of lately, I am even getting my neighbors hooked on them. The way I most prefer consuming them is microwaving a Moon Pie for exactly 6 seconds (my microwave oven is rated a 700 Watts, your time may vary) and then eating it and then washing it down with an ice-cold R. C. Cola.
There are several theories on how Royal Crown Cola became paired with Moon Pies, but the one I’ll accept most is that during the Great Depression they were a cheap but energy-dense source of food and drink. They offered the most calories per unit of currency in a time when money was extremely tight. Not only that, they were very palatable and could hold up most men performing work that was many times physically demanding. An original Moon Pie which was four inches and diameter and a 12 ounce R. C. Cola paired together, sold for a total of one Dime. So it became an instant hit with the working class throughout the South.
But, nowadays, they are popular throughout the South and with more than just the working class.
Now I am indeed disabled. But, even with inflation adjustments, an R. C. Cola paired with a Moon Pie is a cheap thrill that can be afforded to me even though I am on a fixed income. I think of the pictured that I mentioned earlier in this piece and many times I too eat a Moon Pie and drink an R. C. Cola whilst listening to my scanner. This is a frugal way to have a good time. Some of my neighbors have also picked up on this habit.
Before I became totally disabled, I always wanted to have a son so he and I could hang out in the kitchen and listen to our scanners, especially at night. I’m 34 at the time of writing this and have no children, as of yet. God has shown me what my true future spouse will be like and He equally told me to be patient in finding her. If I ever do have children, I’ve always wondered if instead of singing songs they hear on the radio, as most kids do, they will repeat track bulletins and vessel names along with their positions that they hear on my scanners. I would get a kick out of that as would all my friends that also listen to scanners. I’ll have to be careful with the marine traffic, though, especially if I ever have a daughter, because of the foul language sometimes used on those marine channels. Just the other morning, I heard the Mother F word uttered on Channel 13 by an angry boat captain. Such a phrase is completely uncalled for in any circumstance and can get someone killed if he or she utters it to the wrong person. Enough about that, let’s focus on more pleasant things. Maybe one day, God will bless me with children and we will be hanging out in my kitchen listening to scanners, eating Moon Pies, and drinking R. C. Cola.
Because this blog is read worldwide, I’m not sure if you, the reader, have ever heard of combining a Moon Pie with an R. C. Cola much less if these products are available near you. My suggestion is if you live in The States, check out your local Ruble, I mean Dollar General.
If you’re able to purchase these, please do so. I don’t think you will be disappointed! After all, it is a tried and true favorite.
So, I guess this concludes my article on R. C. Cola and Moon Pies.
I hope you, the reader, have been informed and maybe even entertained.
May God richly bless you!