Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Whoopie Pie Taste Test

This week the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal ran an article in which they conducted an unscientific taste test on a Lancaster County favorite, the Whoopie Pie. A Whoopie Pie (aka Gobs/Gobz) is a cakey cookie filled with an icing/frosting filling. The cookie portion is typically a chocolate devil's food variety, but you may also find pumpkin (the moistest and my personal favorite), red velvet (like chocolate, these dry out quickly), vanilla, and oatmeal. Sometimes the filling is a peanut butter flavor; I have also seen green filling for St. Patrick's Day, a berry based filling at Kitchen Kettle's Berry Jam Festival, and a Red Hat Society one also at Kitchen Kettle with red velvet and purple filling.

I wish the Journal would have opened up the taste test to a larger sample. I thought one glaring omission was Bird-in-Hand Bake Shop. I would also liked to have seen Kitchen Kettle's tested. I also wish they would have tested other varieties besides the basic chocolate that dries out so easily.

Hershey Farm, which hosts a Whoopie Pie Festival every Fall, was deemed to have the best Chocolate Whoopie Pie. I have never had one of theirs, but am sure to try one the next time I am in Lancaster County. I am a little unsure as to how the scores were tabulated as the averages don't exactly compute for me.

My personal favorite places for Whoopie Pies are Bird-in-Hand Bake Shop, Bird-in-Hand Bakery (my wife's favorite-these are enormous), and Achenbach's. I will be sure to try some of these that I have not tried.

Taste test results from Lancaster Intelligencer Journal

Top ten overall

1. Hershey Farm: 3.75

2. Willow Valley: 3.44

3. Oregon Dairy: 3.31

4. Stauffer's of Kissel Hill (SKH): 3.25

5. Achenbach's Pastries: 3.19

6. Bird-in-Hand Bakery: 3.13

7. Landisview Farm Market: 2.7

8. Miller's Smorgasbord: 2.69

9. Byers Butterflake Bakery: 2.56

10. Country Table Restaurant: 2.5

Most chocolate flavor

1. Achenbach's Pastries: 3.69

2. SKH: 3.56

3. Bird-in-Hand: 3.5

4. Hershey Farm: 3.44

5. Willow Valley: 3.31

6. Oregon Dairy: 3.25

7. Landisview: 3.13

8. Miller's Smorgasbord: 2.63

9. Byers: 2.38

10. Country Table: 1.94


1. SKH: 4.0

2. Willow Valley: 3.94

3. Hershey Farm: 3.88

4. Oregon Dairy: 3.63

5. Landisview: 3.06

6. Bird-in-Hand: 3.0

7. Achenbach's Pastries: 2.5

8. Miller's Smorgasbord: 2.38

9. Country Table: 2.25

10. Byers: 2.13


1. Achenbach's Pastries: 4.5

2. Willow Valley: 4.25

3. Bird-in-Hand: 3.75

4-tie. Hershey Farm: 3.63

4-tie. Country Table: 3.63

6. Landisview: 3.5

7. SKH: 3.25

8. Oregon Dairy: 3.12

9. Miller's Smorgasbord: 2.75

10. Byers: 2.25

My averages of the three scores for moistness, chocolate flavor, and appearance came out like this, so I'm not sure how the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal came up with their rankings for their overall scores. With those three averages, Willow Valley comes out on top.

1. Willow Valley: 3.83
2. Hershey Farm: 3.65
3. SKH: 3.6
4. Achenbach's Pastries: 3.56
5. Bird-in-Hand Bakery: 3.42
6. Oregon Dairy: 3.33
7. Landisview: 3.23
8. Country Table: 2.61
9. Miller's Smorgasbord: 2.59
10. Byers: 2.25


Adrian said...

My wife and I did our own little taste test with three of the whoopie pies tested: Achenbach's, Bird-in-Hand, and Hershey Farm.

We both agreed that B-I-H and Hershey were better than Achenbach's. Achenbach's was a bit too chocolatey/sweet. I prefered Hershey over B-I-H, but she thought it was a draw or a slight lean to B-I-H.

Adrian said...

We went to Willow Valley to get a chocolate whoopie to try to continue our test but were told they don't have them on a regular basis!! That disqualifies them in our opinion.