Mail-Order Pies: an Expensive Slice of Nostalgia For Which Many Will Pay

It’s almost comical — how hard it is to get this pie out of its box. Inside the well-taped cardboard, there are packing peanuts around another box that’s inserted so tightly, lifting it out is like playing a game of Operation.

Finally, I can see the pie. The pastry from Virginia’s Red Truck Bakery is swaddled in bubble wrap, shrink-wrapped and topped with a circle of cardboard. And inside all of this, baked into a thick reusable tin, is a pristine mincemeat pie that has spent the past day traveling across most of the country to its final destination at my door in Oregon.

Every year, untold numbers of pies crisscross the country from bakeries to doorsteps, ramping up in popularity just before Thanksgiving and leading up to the winter holidays. The first time I got a pie by mail was after I graduated high school and moved across the country for college. It reminded me of all the things I was missing while comforting my homesickness with each bite.

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