Pasties a perfect present for Valentine’s Day

There are many places to get pasties in the Upper Peninsula, but one place deals almost exclusively with shipping pasties throughout the United States.

ABC 10 Keweenaw Bureau reporter Sam Ali goes inside one of the busiest kitchens in the U.P.

For years, Pasty Central has been shipping pasties all over the country. But this past week, all the work was concentrated on preparing for Valentine’s Day.

“We’re just coming up to that right now and we’re gearing up and ready to ship thousands of pasties during Valentine’s,” Charlie Hopper said.

Hopper is the general manager of Pasty Central. He understands it may be strange to give someone a pasty for Valentine’s Day, but he says it’s about giving someone a taste of home.

“Our greatest compliment is for somebody who says ‘your pasties taste just like my mom used to make.’ So that kind of makes an attraction for Valentine’s,” Hopper said.

So, what goes into making a pasty?

First, of course, is the dough, which is made from scratch, mixing together flour, eggs and shortening. Then the dough is cut into small pieces and flattened out to create the crust. Next, for the filling, potatoes are washed and put into a machine that dices them into small pieces. Veggies like onions, rutabaga and carrots are mixed together.

But, a Cornish-style pasty doesn’t have carrots in it. Then the meat shipment arrives and is mixed with the veggies. That mixture is placed on the dough and folded into the pasty shape.

Once all the trays are full, they are put inside a rotating oven for 45 minutes. Then they cool down in front of a fan, packaged and kept in the freezer. When the orders come in, it’s time to bring out the boxes.

Pasty Central employee Jeff Valley says he’s sees shipments to cities across the country.

“Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, California. Every state in the union, including Alaska,” Valley said.

The orders are then wrapped in foil, put in the box and set by the door until the FedEx truck picks them up.

I asked one of the workers how many orders they usually do.

“About 50 an hour,” Valley said.

They were even kind of to make me my own pasty, and it was delicious. Now, I know this is my first pasty, but because we’re in the Valentine’s Day spirit, I think it’s love at first sight.