Mountain Dew Whoopie Pies? Roots Country Market has them; this is how they taste | meal
Every once in a while, a fancy dessert stands out and just begs to be tasted.
Such was the case when I heard about a unique flavor of a dessert in Lancaster County.
And there, pictures three cans ago of Dew, was what appeared to be a whoopie pie that looked like it had been soaked in Shrek’s swamp. The greenish hue obviously looked unnatural, and yet something about it seemed so… alluring?
Maybe it’s due to the abundance of weird Mountain Dew flavors and strains I’ve been seeing lately, but Dew seems to be having a little moment this summer. Check the shelves at your local Turkey Hill and you’ll find bottles of Mtn. Dew Baja Blast, formerly only available at fine Taco Bell establishments, and something called Mtn. Dew Flamin’ Hot,” a brew from hell that I’ll get to later.
I ventured to Root’s on what turned out to be the busiest day in June. On the way into the building, I saw a guy in a tank top and shorts sipping from a nearly empty two-liter Standard Mountain Dew, so I knew I was in the right place at the right time. The Sweet Spot stand features about 30 types of whoopie pies, from the standard chocolate and glaze to a wide variety of “boozy pies.”
I bought two Dew Pies – one for the fridge and one for the freezer as the comments on the first Facebook post had several people swearing frozen is the way to go. On my way home I stopped and bought a bottle of Mtn. Dew Flamin’ Hot because, well, I’m already drinking a bizarre Dew-based concoction, so what’s another?
First things first – no, the whoopie pies do not contain actual Mountain Dew. Rochelle Boone, a third generation baker who has been making whoopies for over 26 years, told me that when she tries to reproduce a flavor it is the result of a lot of trial and error.
“The color throws you off,” Boone says over the phone via Mountain Dew. “It’s green, but definitely not chalky. What I always tell people is that it’s a citrus blend. I think they use the three citrus fruits, but I can’t tell you for sure, but I go for it. It’s a citrus blend of lemon, lime, and orange, and other than that, I just kind of winged it. Unfortunately and fortunately that is my personality.”
Raised as a Mennonite, Boone says Dew was a staple for teenagers looking to quench their summer thirst, which is partly why Dew Pie is only available during the summer. As summer draws to a close, county residents have the East Lamper Fair to look forward to in late September, as it’s the only non-Roots event Boone will be creating this particular brand of whoopie pie for.
“Somehow, in my weird brain I was born with, I was wondering what a Mountain Dew whoopie pie would taste like?” Boone continues. “I’m not a Mountain Dew drinker, but I bought some to try and see what I think of them. ‘Could I make a flavor profile out of this?’ There were many exams. You have to taste the different flavors together, you know. “Is that close, is that close?” I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily spot on, but I think it has the vibe.”
Just unwrapping the whoopie pie from the plastic unleashes the strong citrus flavors that Boone pumps into every homemade pie. Since it’s not actually made with Dew, there really isn’t anything else for the taste to be confused with on the first bite. While the chilled version stayed cool, it began to lose its shape in the summer heat. But this is where the frozen version really shined. Not only did the whoopie pie stay cold, it stayed together in one, creamy piece. The further you get into the dew pie, the more it feels like it started out as some sort of gamble. And to my surprise, Boone didn’t necessarily disagree with that concept during our subsequent phone call.
“I think people try it because it’s an oddity, you know?” says Boone. “They’re curious, they’re not sure, but someone in the group is adventurous. It hits a subset of people who like to try new or different things, maybe something they can’t imagine.”
While it’s difficult to describe what Mountain Dew really tastes like, getting an approximation of that initially weird taste is even more difficult. The citrus is absolutely there, as is the tender feel of the whoopie pie itself. It’s just… different, but in a positive way.
Two Dew Pies didn’t convert me to that particular concept, but I’m going to freeze all whoopie pies from now on. That said, I strongly agree with Boone’s concept of trying an odd kind of food, even though you know in your heart that your taste buds might not agree.
And of course the million dollar question – what does Boone think of her own creation? In my eyes it had the potential to become a “Dr. Frankenstein and Frankenstein’s Monster” situation, but Boone’s own answer makes a lot more sense.
“Anyone in the hospitality industry will tell you that you’re sick of the product because you’re around all the time and smelling it all the time,” says Boone. “That’s why I enjoy creating new ones, because it’s something new for me to eat, and then also for our customers because they’re always looking for something different and that’s why they come to me.”