Here’s an easy mistake to avoid: buying any type of pie from a fast food chain.
I never learn from mistakes, however. And when I see advertisements for something as vague and awful sounding as McDonald’s “Holiday Pie” I just can’t help myself.
Now, the first thing to know when purchasing pie from McDonald’s is that you’ll be getting two. Oh, you might think you only want one (and that certainly is still one too many), but it doesn’t matter. The price of one pie is 99¢ and the price of two is $1, so already they’ve set it up for you to feel as though you are practically throwing money away by not getting two of their horrible pies. Even if you manage to show enough willpower to avoid the double-pie-pitfall and order an unheard of single Holiday Pie (as I attempted to do) it is apparently McDonald’s policy to ignore that request and give you two pies anyway. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ve always considered myself the type of person who avoids arguments with strangers on the other end of a drive through speaker over a one-cent pie. Like I said earlier, you’re getting two pies. Don't struggle, don’t try to fight it, just go limp and accept your pies.
The second, and most important, thing to remember is that under no circumstances should you attempt to eat, handle, or even look at your pie without letting it cool down first. For some it takes second-degree burns and a trip to Urgent Care to learn this lesson – you shouldn’t have to be one of them. If you can imagine a small portion of the Earth’s molten outer core is extracted and encased in a cheap, saccharine piecrust, then given to young children as a hand-held dessert treat, you’ll begin to have some idea of the danger these pies pose. So unless you want all your meals for the next week tasting like the raw, blistered, throbbing roof of your mouth, it’s best to wait a solid fifteen minutes before even considering taking a bite of one of these pies.
A final point worth noting is to keep your expectations low (like, really low). You’re not going to like this pie, let’s get that straight right here. If you were hoping for a satisfying end to a meal or a memorable seasonal treat, you’re going to be disappointed. But just how inedible McDonald’s Holiday Pies really are is, I suppose, debatable. Personally, when trying ultra-processed junk food like this, I find it helps to adjust my standards of what constitutes actual ”food.” I fully expect most of what I’m trying to end up in the garbage can, and honestly anything short of biting into a pie and having tiny spiders pour out, causing me to scream and run my car off the road, is considered a successful experience. I’ve tried something new, my curiosity is sated, and now I can cross it off the list and never revisit it.
So, with that in mind, let me relate how predictably terrible a McDonald’s Holiday Pie is. For starters it looks like a sugary pastry tube covered with sprinkles and filled with scrambled eggs (I could go into the confusing choice of rainbow sprinkles to represent the holidays, but that’s really the least of this pie’s shortcomings, so I’ll leave it be). I can only assume from the filling that it’s supposed to be some version of a custard pie, but what it ends up tasting like is a mushy sugar cookie wrapped around a liquefied, gelatinous sugar cookie, with a flavor like if someone made an entire pie out of white cake frosting. After the first bite it’s pretty clear why McDonald’s only values them at 50¢ apiece. The sad thing is, as far as terrible Hot Pocket-shaped snack foods go, this doesn’t come anywhere close to the worst thing I’ve tried.
Of course, there must be some people out there who do enjoy McDonald’s Holiday Pies – they wouldn’t make them unless there was at least some demand. It’s to those few people I express my deepest sympathy. I’m sorry, fictional reader of this journal entry, for whatever has led you to this pitiable point in your life. I wish things could have gone differently for you. But, please, if you have children, do not feed them McDonald’s Holiday Pies. You have the power to break the chain of fast food pie enjoyment. Let this sad, diabetes-inducing tradition die with you.
Do it for the children.