Whoopie Pies or Blueberry Pies? That Is The Question 

Lawmakers in Augusta are faced with another difficult decision. Should the whoopie pie be Maine’s official dessert? “Whoopie pie makers are a little economic engine for the state of Maine,” said Carol Ford on Monday. Ford is the Co-Owner of the Cranberry Island Kitchen in Portland. The idea to make the whoopie pie Maine’s official dessert originated with the student government at Ashland High School and really picked up steam at the annual Whoopie Pie Festival in Dover-Foxcroft. On Monday, surrounded by tasty treats, lawmakers heard testimony for and against the whoopie pie. Janet Sawyer, a member of the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council says the festival has been a tremendous economic catalyst for her area. “The Maine Whoopie Pie Festival and it’s delicious confection the whoopie pie is economic development.”However, Representative Don Pilon of Saco says the blueberry pie, a healthier choice, should represent Maine’s sweet tooth. “At a time when 31.3% of Maine’s children are considered either overweight or obese, do we really want to glorify a dessert that lists lard as it’s primary ingredient?” Pilon asked the committee.Pilon also touted the economic impact of Maine’s blueberry industry. “It creates a $250 million industry in the state of Maine,” he said. “It employs 2,450 people. It’s more of a healthy dessert so I think it’s more reminiscent of what identify as the Maine dessert.” Amos Orcutt, President of the Maine Whoopie Pie Association, says after Monday’s hearings, he’s feeling pretty confident. “Well if popularity means anything it will pass,” says Orcutt. “It’s obvious some of our representatives are doing some research now as there were hundreds of whoopie pies brought here for research purposes.” The whoopie pie makers are also confident and say this bill could give their businesses a huge boost if it passes. “Whoopie pies are part of the Maine story right now and I think it would be, no pun intended, the frosting on the cake to be Maine’s official dessert.”The committee has scheduled a workshop on the bill for February 9th.