The Swingle

What’s that? A MoonPie-sized pastry of key lime filling in a graham cracker crust, dipped in dark chocolate and frozen.

Who recommends it? LaToya Clement, creator of Curly Top Crop Sassy Salad

Why? Clement considers the “triple-treat” appeal of tart citrus, bittersweet chocolate and crunchy graham crackers close to self-explanatory. “It’s amazing,” she says of the pie-on-a-stick. “Real tasty.”

But in baker Cara Tarpin’s native New York City, where her uncle’s key lime business is based, food writers keep finding more ways to describe The Swingle, including “magic” (EatUp New York); “perfect” (Serious Eats) and “the best” (Village Voice.)

Steve Tarpin 20 years ago squeezed a baking operation out of his aggravation with subpar key lime pie: Just last month, he opened a stall at the eagerly anticipated DeKalb Market Hall in Brooklyn, saving his fans a trip to his longstanding location in Red Hook. But the pies sold in Charleston are baked in Goose Creek, according to the Tarpin recipe. According to Cara Tarpin, that means she doesn’t skimp on sweet cream butter, condensed milk, egg yolks or fresh-squeezed key limes.

Where is it? Tarpin’s key lime pie is served by the slice at Harold’s Cabin, The Watch at the Restoration Hotel and EVO. Harold’s Cabin also stocks Swingles in its retail freezer, as do The Veggie Bin and Circe’s Grotto, which has a dedicated Swingle case. For more information, e-mail

— Hanna Raskin

Reach Hanna Raskin at 843-937-5560 and follow her on Twitter @hannaraskin.

Food editor and chief critic

Eating all of the chicken livers just as fast as I can.