What about Vienna?

Got a few emails overnight in regard to yesterday’s post Remember Tacubaya!, among them this note from an attentive (and apparently long-time) reader Eric:

Hey Joe! Got a kick out of your Pastry war post, but I was surprised to hear you call it the world’s most famous baking-related conflict. I thought that distinction belonged to the siege of Vienna!

That’s the Battle of Vienna, Eric, and yes it’s true I have written several posts about it. I’ve even jokingly termed it the most baking-intensive conflict in the history of man. However the fact is that for all the stories about baked goods that were supposedly invented during this very real battle, none of them are actually true. The Pastry War has the virtue of not only being funny, but of having actually happened. On which note there was this note from Linda P.:

Too funny Joe, is all that really true? You can tell me, come on.

Yes Linda it is, and in fact Monsieur Remontel has remained a folk hero within the militant wing of pastry community ever since. Viva Remontel! was the rallying cry of disgruntled bakers during both the 1887 Sheet Cake Uprising and the Fondant Riots of 1917. Of course anti-customer pastry militancy has long been discredited as a viable political ideology, but I’m told it’s a cause that’s ready to spring to life again as soon as the next customer points into a pastry case to inquire which éclair has the fewest calories.

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