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Their Knowledge Is Half-Baked At Best

, , , , | Right | May 29, 2022

Customer: “Oh, can you make something as a special order for me? It’s important for me to stay within the limits of my dietary restrictions and no other bakery offers to help me.”

Boss: “Well, we do offer several adaptions for dietary needs — for example, sugar alternatives and low fat — but we are a very small bakery. We can’t accommodate allergies as we don’t have a separate space to keep the ingredients.”

Customer: “That’s okay, I’m not allergic. I just want fat-free puff pastries. That shouldn’t be a problem!”

Boss: “I’m sorry, but that definitely is a problem. It is impossible to make puff pastry without fat! The texture of puff pastry can only be made by layering fat and dough.”

The boss tries to explain how puff pastry is made and why it’s impossible to do fat-free puff pastries, but the customer interrupts.

Customer: “I know how puff pastry is made. I know it’s evaporating water from the dough during baking that makes the layers rise! Just layer the dough without the fat and it’ll rise!”

Boss: “That’s impossible. If we layer the dough without the fat the dough will just mend together again. There won’t be any layers that way. It’s the fat that separates the layers and traps the water so the layers will rise. And there is nothing else to separate those layers during the baking so they puff up and have the effect you want. We could do sweet pastries with a nice yeast dough for you. That we can make at least mostly fat-free.”

Customer: “No, that won’t do. I need it to be completely fat-free! Just make the layers one by one, then, and put them together after baking.”

Boss: “That’s also impossible. The layers are far too thin for that. A regular sheet of puff pastry has more than 100 layers already. We cannot bake them individually. Also, they would get really hard without the fat. It’s impossible. We could do other alternatives for you, for example—”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous. Everyone just tells me that! Why do all of you insist on making this difficult? I’ll just go home and do it myself! It can’t be that hard! I know how that works!”

With that, she storms out with a huff, and my boss and I can only stare after her in disbelief.

Boss: “Is there anything nicer than a customer with some half-baked knowledge explaining to you how to do your job first thing in the morning?”

Me: “I really appreciate the no-sugar crowd now. They’re difficult, too, but their demands are at least mostly possible to fulfill, even if it sometimes tastes bland.”

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