February 15, 2011

Wary of a dessert storm, panel endorses whoopie pie as the state 'treat'

By Susan M. Cover scover@mainetoday.com
State House Bureau

AUGUSTA — The whoopie pie could soon be Maine's official state treat – rather than the state dessert – now that a legislative committee has amended Rep. Paul Davis' bill.

click image to enlarge

John Linscott, who wrote lyrics about whoopie pies, testifies last month in Augusta under the watchful eyes of a man dressed as a whoopie pie. On Monday, a legislative panel amended a proposed bill to say that the whoopie pie would be the state’s official “treat.”

2011 Press Herald file

MORE ONLINE

Read the text of L.D. 71 at www.mainelegislature.org
/LawMakerWeb/search.asp
.

The State and Local Government Committee voted 8-3 Monday to amend L.D. 71 to say that the whoopie pie would be the state's official "treat." Committee members said they wanted to avoid a battle with supporters of blueberry pie and other worthy desserts, but still wanted to give whoopie pies a designation.

"I think the word 'treat' is something special," said Sen. Nancy Sullivan, D-Biddeford. "I'm afraid we're going to pit one dessert against another. A Maine treat, I would jump all over."

Rep. Andrea Boland, D-Sanford, offered the amendment to Davis' bill. After the vote, Davis, a Republican from Sangerville, said he was fine with the change.

Davis said he was convinced by the crowd at the Whoopie Pie Festival in Dover-Foxcroft last year that the dessert deserved more recognition.

"Call it 'the state treat,' " he said. "That's good."

Boland's amendment also calls for the language to refer to two cakes, rather than two chocolate cakes, so a variety of specialty whoopie pies could share the designation.

Those who opposed the bill said they felt it was not a good use of the Legislature's time to consider such legislation.

Rep. Lance Harvell, R-Farmington, said he got 53 e-mails from constituents "telling me to stop the foolishness."

Others expressed health concerns related to the high-calorie treat.

The bill now goes to the House for consideration.

MaineToday Media State House Writer Susan Cover can be contacted at 620-7015 or at: scover@mainetoday.com

 

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