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


Read the text of L.D. 71 at www.mainelegislature.org

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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