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Whoopie-pie Named Official Dessert of KU Sesquicentennial Celebration

September 30, 2015

KUTZTOWN, Pa. - The whoopie-pie has been named the official dessert of the Kutztown University Sesquicentennial Celebration.Avalanche holding a tray of Whoopie Pies

The celebration, in honor of KU's 150th anniversary, began in August with the opening of the academic year and will run through Founder's Day, which is set for September 15, 2016.

Pre-packaged whoopie-pies, provided by Shirley's Cookie Company of Claysburg, Pa., will be available for sale at the concession stands at Golden Bear home intercollegiate athletic events and at the KU Campus Store and Dixon Marketplace.  Housing and Residence Life will be selling the product as a fund raiser in the KU residence halls.  The pre-packaged pies will be available in five different flavors: chocolate with cherry cream, chocolate with vanilla cream, chocolate with peanut butter cream, pumpkin with vanilla cream, and red velvet with vanilla cream.  Flavors will vary by location.

In addition, Aramark, the official food service company of Kutztown University, will have a special KU version of the whoopie-pie available at select catered events throughout the year.   The KU version will mimic the school colors of maroon and gold

The whoopie-pie is a U.S. baked good that may be considered either a cookiepie or cake. It is made of two round mound-shaped pieces of cake with a sweet, creamy filling or frosting sandwiched between them.  

Dr. William Woys Weaver covered the history of whoopie-pies in his 2013 book "As American as Shoofly Pie: The Foodlore and Fakelore of Pennsylvania Dutch Cuisine."  He writes:

"Whoopie-pies are so delicious and easy to produce that many areas of the eastern United States and Midwest lay claim to the origin of this snack cake. An early 20th century invention of the Berwick Cake Company in Roxbury, Mass., the whoopie-pie was sub-contracted and mass produced in Chicago where the recipe was emulated by the Old-Order Amish in Indiana.  

"The whoopie-pie was introduced to the Lancaster County Amish in the 1960s, and where Amish-based tourist markets successfully popularized the snack cake as a pseudo-"traditional" favorite. Further efforts to promote tourism, such as the Kutztown Folk Festival, encouraged the widespread influence of the whoopie-pie to throughout the Dutch Country, where today it is considered a favorite.

"Although the tourist legend that the pie was named for the cries of excitement that would be heard in the fields when Amish farmers would find a whoopee-pie in their lunch pails, in reality, the pies were so named after the popular Broadway musical "Whoopee!" introduced the term into common American speech."

"We choose the whoopie-pie as the official dessert of the KU Sesquicentennial for three primary reasons," said Matt Santos, director of University Relations and chair of the Sesquicentennial Steering Committee.  "They have been listed as the favorite food of our Golden Bear mascot Avalanche since his creation in 2005; they tie very well into the heritage of the region and our institution; and most of all, when people try them, most really like them."

Whoopie pies are available for the first time this week at the KU Campus Store and Dixon Marketplace, and this Saturday's Family Day football game between Kutztown and Millersville.  Kickoff is set for 6:05 p.m. at University Field at Andre Reed Stadium.