Possum Pie: A Mouth-Watering Delicacy in Arkansas?

You hear the words “Possum Pie,” and your mind instantly conjures images of a concoction featuring the notorious marsupial. Yes, for those curious possums are North America’s only marsupial.

But contrary to what the name suggests, this delectable treat has nothing to do with our furry friends from the wild (or your back alley dumpster). Instead, it’s a tasty dessert that’s become a delicacy in Arkansas.

But how exactly did it get its name and what does this pie consist of? I was curious myself so I had to check out a few spots in Arkansas and here’s what I found.

The Origin of the Name Possum Pie

There’s a myriad of theories surrounding the origins of Possum Pie.

According to one popular belief, the name stems from the concept of the pie “playing possum,” akin to the animal’s behavior. It’s thought that beneath the top layer of whipped cream, a tantalizing array of chocolate, vanilla, or cream cheese layers hides, mirroring the way a possum conceals its vitality.

This theory isn’t so compelled to me, as it seems like over half the pies out there feature whipped cream toppings that could fit the “playing possum” analogy.

Another theory suggests that the pie’s filling resembles the coloring of a possum, with its alternating light and dark layers bearing some resemblance to the animal. While there may be a connection, it’s open to interpretation.

On a personal note, I believe that someone simply crafted a delicious pie, and given the coloring and strong association of opossums with Arkansas, the name “possum pie” seemed fitting.

Regardless, it appears that possum pies are somewhat of a modern invention with it being dated to around the 1980s.

Possum Pie

The Gastronomic Symphony: Ingredients Galore

Now, let’s dive into the heart of this scrumptious treat – its ingredients. Arkansas Possum Pie is a symphony of flavors, blending sweet and creamy elements in perfect harmony.

The crust can come in different forms. It might be made of graham crackers or something like a pecan shortbread crust but it typically provides a nice crunchy foundation for the layers of indulgence to come.

Next up, the fillings. Typically, you’re dealing with a layer of cream cheese and a layer of chocolate pudding. People do mix it up from time to time or perhaps slip in a layer of vanilla cream cheese or vanilla pudding.

Expect a thick layer of whipped cream on top and then some type of garnish sprinkled on top which could be pecans, candy pieces, chocolate shavings, or even chocolate sauce.

It’s seriously one of the most delicious desserts I think I have ever tried and for someone with a huge sweet tooth like mine and a lot of desert experiences, that’s saying a lot.

If you want to try your hand at making one there are no shortage of recipes online.

Possum Pie slice

Where to Indulge: Hunting Down the Perfect Slice

Now that you’re practically salivating at the thought of sinking your teeth into a slice of Arkansas Possum Pie, you’re probably wondering where you can find this hidden gem.

Despite its popularity is feels like one of those dishes that is more popular in the kitchen and less popular in restaurants. But that said, it’s still possible to find them in a restaurant or bakery but you just need to know where to look.

We discovered the amazingness of possum pies in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and we have two favorite locations. The first is Cafe 1217. They serve up a really crumbly crust and an absolutely delicious layer of thick homemade whipped cream. They garnish the pie with pieces of Heath Bar? which gives it some nice texture and crunch along with that toffee flavoring.

Possum Pie slice

Another place is the Home Plate Café which is in Hot Springs Village. It’s a baseball themed eatery with amazing breakfast items like blueberry pancakes and breakfast burritos but they also serve lunch and dinner country staples like chicken fried steak and chicken fried chicken.

They also have a bakery attached to the restaurant and they serve up a possum pie with chocolate sauce on top and a very defined layer of vanilla cream cheese and chocolate pudding. Large pecan pieces and chocolate syrup add a nice touch to the top layer of whipped cream.

Possum Pie slice

Possum Pie may have a name that raises eyebrows, but its taste speaks for itself. With its irresistible combination of flavors and quirky charm, this dessert has carved out a special place in the hearts (and stomachs) of locals and visitors alike. So, the next time you find yourself in the land of opportunity, be sure to treat yourself to a slice of this uniquely Arkansan delicacy.

One comment

  1. Sorry Daniel, but Possums only live in Australia/Asia. The animal in North America (including Arkansas) is the Opossum. Both are marsupials, but they are, in fact, different animals.

    To make matters more confusing, only Opossums can enter into the comatose state often referred to as “playing possum.”

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