Does Grandma’s Apple Pie Need Expedited Shipping?
Barring fruitcakes, shipping Christmas pastries is one of the most delightful gifts anyone can give to a loved one, especially when families are not able to gather for the holidays. But when shipping perishable items, there seems to be a high risk of spoilage, breakage and other devastations that lead to crumbs and grease spots in the place of sweet or savory treats. Anyone shipping cookies, cakes, pies or other baked goods should learn and abide by the general rules of perishable shipping. One giant relief for most shippers is the knowledge that expedited shipping is not usually a necessity. Unless the shipper is including goods that have a naturally short shelf life, or they absolutely have to have the recipient enjoy “next-day-freshness”, standard ground shipping is a great way to send food.
Of course, no one should ship items that need to remain frozen or refrigerated, and for the love of everything, never ship liquid items, even if the container is well sealed. In some rare cases of course, like bottled wine, canned goods and the like, liquids are acceptable, but save the homemade eggnog for a reunion. Liquid is messy to ship, especially if it is not packed appropriately.
On the subject of proper packaging, shippers of perishable goods must be aware of how to pack the food in transit so a little roughhousing won’t wreck it. Consider that every package will travel through a warehouse and be jammed into a tight fitting spot on a bumpy riding eighteen-wheeler. Knowing how tough the ride is, without a significant amount of cushion, pies are going to be flattened, cookies crumbled and cakes squashed. Make sure to pack food well.
When possible, double-reinforce food items. Cakes ship well if they have supports slid through them as braces to prevent them from sliding from wall to wall of a box. Pack a cake in one box with supports and tuck that box into a larger box to prevent it from seeping grease onto the outer box. Any parcel that has a fluid spot seeping through will be pulled and stopped from the shipping chain. There is no worse way to lose a cake (or any pastry for that matter) than to know it has been commandeered by UPS workers and cross-examined. Expedited shipping isn’t a necessity, but making sure Grandma’s pies make it to the rest of the family is!