Wednesday, December 3, 2008

You're allergic to butter?

(I've been getting a lot of search engine hits from this, and I'd just like to point out that I am not cranky at people who actually have health conditions or allergies! In case it's not clear, I'm cranky at people who lie about it because they think I'll fuck up their diets or something otherwise.)

A customer told me the other day that she was allergic to butter. I wasn't sure how to respond, but I was thinking "you're allergic to saturated fat?" I kept trying to think of how someone could be allergic to butter. So I did a web search. A couple of recipe sites came up with people wanting substitutions because they're "allergic", but most of the sites came up with exactly what I was expecting ....

"Lie and tell the waiter that you're deathly allergic to butter" because you're on a diet or don't like it.

*headdesk* C'mon, people. Just 'fess up and tell us you don't want it! I get more pissed with people tell me they're "allergic" to something ridiculously common than I do when they nicely ask for it be left off. Crying "allergy!!!!!11!" just makes you look like a drama queen. We can tell when someone is genuinely allergic versus when they're just being twats. No, really.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

came across your post, and actually i am allegic to butter - my hiatus herna is trigered with butter, basmati rice, raw onion, spices, oil, peanuts, and i actually love all these foods....so you see were not being twats we can become geniunly ill by eating this stuff

purplegirl said...

Anonymous -- I know that there are people who have real allergies and real health conditions. My mother's eyes swell shut if she eats bleu cheese. Certain preservatives give me hives in my mouth. I have no problem with people who have genuine health problems.

What I do have a problem with, however, are people like are dicussed here, and people who write diet books telling people to cry "allergy!" when they're on a diet.

The people I have a problem with are the people like the woman I made this entry about--who told me she didn't want butter on her broccoli because she was allergic, and then ordered an extra side of "those delicious mashed potatoes, I have them every time I'm here!"

The twats I have a problem with are people who tell me their salad can't have almonds because they're DEATHLY allergic to nuts! ... and then ask for lots of that great dressing they get on it every time! ... that has nut oil in it.

These people bother me because they assume that I'm too stupid to get their order right, or too uncaring to do my job properly, unless they claim they'll drop dead from something. It's also disrespectful to people who do suffer from severe allergic responses. After doing this job for nine years, I can tell when people are lying to me.

I still take their request seriously in case I'm wrong, but most of the time I want to scream at them. If you don't like it, just tell me you don't want it. There's no need to lie.

Anonymous said...

I'm allergic to butter and am lactose intolerant. If I accidently have anything with milk or butter, I live in the bathroom for 3 hours with painful cramps and diarhrea. I'm usually a little wheezy after an episode. However, I can eat mash potatoes because the chemical compound of a potatoe and milk is changed when mixed together enough that the lactose in it is not strong enough to upset or disrupt my stomach. Another example is that I can eat icecream that is processed a lot. Homemade ice cream just about kills me. Everyone that has these allergies reacts differently and some more strong than others. Go figure. It's the truth.

purplegirl said...

And that's why I take the requests seriously even when I'm 99.9% sure I just have a picky jerk on my hands--because I might be wrong.

Anonymous said...

actually my brother is allergic so thats kinda rude of you to call him a dieter, he is only 6. nobody would lie and obviously if you think this then you must be a frequent liar, so i am offended by ur post. nuf said

purplegirl said...

You can be offended all you'd like; if you think nobody would lie, you're very naive. As I've already said in the comments, I take such requests seriously because I might be wrong--but the fact remains that there are a lot of people who do flat out lie.

Also, if you'd like to be taken seriously, I'd suggest learning to use proper punctuation and grammar. Enough said.

bend said...

I have in the past, and will in the future, tell just this lie.
Sometimes you just don't want to be thought of as nitpicky or "a dieter." But, I would gladly confess that this is a ridiculous thing to do, and does, in all likelihood, make me an utter twat.

Also, other commenters above: the poster isnt fucking saying that people aren't allergic to butter! The last anonymous person is being just intentionally dense.

purplegirl said...

Bend, I think you're my favorite person today! Nice to know somebody got my point--even nicer that it's somebody who I indirectly called a twat. :)

Maxine said...

I understand your point and think the same person prolly orders a Diet Coke with their bacon cheeseburger.

Also, not to be nitpicky, just because you are allergic to almonds doesn't make you allergic to nut oil. :P

Hence, why I don't eat out at restaurants often.

Anonymous said...

I have told this lie.
The reason I tell it has almost nothing to do with my server, however. I know my server will remember "no butter" or "no cheese" or whatever. I am a server myself, and I give those that share my profession a little credit. I just don't trust the cooks. Everytime I walk into the kitchen to fix a screwup or to nicely request a mod I forgot to punch in, they are buttering some bun, adding butter to the eggs they are scrambling, adding butter to this sauce... stuff I wouldn't even imagine they buttered if I were a customer just reading the menu. Yes, your culinary education may have involved lots of butter in order to make things taste better... but guess what? I don't want it. Does this make me an annoying high-maintenance freak? Sure. But I'm willing to be patient about it and I'm not going to punish the server in my tip if things aren't what I wanted.

purplegirl said...

MAJL - Again, that's why I take requests seriously because I might be mis-reading it.

Anonymous - Thanks for sharing another perspective on it. You're right that it's in places you wouldn't expect.

Anonymous said...

I am allergic to butter thank you very much!
And purplegirl needs to get a life...just sayin

Anonymous said...

I actually came across this post because I am "allergic" to butter (well cow's milk fat in general) and am going on a family vacation and eating out for a week straight, which is going to be very difficult, so I was looking for ways to make sure I don't accidentally eat anything with butter.

If I eat butter/cream/cheese or anything cooked in butter, I get REALLY sick... so obviously I try to avoid it. I have told waiters and waitresses before that I was allergic to butter, and a few times I knew they did not believe me and didn't bother passing it on when I was sick for the next 24 hours. I've basically just stopped eating out in the past few years because of it, but that won't be possible on this vacation.

I understand what you're saying, and sometimes I just say I have a milk allergy because that guarantees people will take me seriously; I was against doing this for a long time, but I truly do have an allergy, and saying you have a milk allergy is more effective than saying you're allergic to butter, which, as evidenced by this poll, is not so believable.

purplegirl said...

I hope you're able to enjoy your vacation without getting sick! That has to be rough. I'm sorry for the times my fellow servers caused you distress--that's exactly why I pass it along anyway, because even the times I think it's bullshit, I don't want to risk making someone ill.

However, when somebody tells me they're allergic to butter then turns around and orders mashed potatoes, well, something doesn't seem quite right. :)

Anonymous said...

This post is absurd. If someone says no butter, then you put no butter regardless if they say/lie they have an allergy or not.

Who cares what you think? Just do what the customer asks, waiter.

In any case, butter is not just saturated fat.. it also includes potent amounts of the dairy protein allergens. Many people allergic to dairy, contrary to what you might think, claim a stronger reaction to butter than to milk itself.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=416198

I know you are waiter with a blog and not a scientist, but do some basic reading before posting things that make no sense please.

purplegirl said...

Obviously you care what I think, or you wouldn't have bothered to leave a comment. I'm probably going to close comments on this before too long because I'm getting sick of bitchy people leaving comments like this, which totally miss the point. Please read all the comments before posting repetitive things that make no sense.

letana said...

Yikes... your perception of people with allerfy makes feel pretty awful.

I have had uncomfortable eczema all my life which I could handle until my late 20's. I have had to bandage my hand and my face/eye areas red, sore and sometimes horrible rash appearance. It's been horrific.

Finally in my early 30's, it was finally diagnosed to dairy allergy. The only way I was able to find out was going on a elimination diet since I was afraid of using steroids which not only thins skin but will cause gloucoma/liver damage with long term usage. I have had to use topical steriods since I was a teen.

When I try to order items in restaurants/even foodcarts, sometimes I sense the disbelief waitresses/waiters have and it's quite sad for me since dairy is so prevalent in our culture. I hope you can try to understand, not everyone is being disingenuous. It had been very difficult to cut out my love of dairy and I have had many lapses until I can finally say no.

Often our culture is quick to use medicine with strong side effects, especially for long term usage. What we consume can cause strange inflammations to manifest and get worse as we age. Please try to give people the benefit of the doubt, should someone ask for no dairy. It's a difficult process some of us had to go though to even find the diagnosis to our disease.

purplegirl said...

Letana, I'm sorry you've had such a struggle. Again, this is directly at people who are obviously lying -- I'd imagine if you'd allergic to dairy you wouldn't insist on having no dairy on one thing and then order another full of it.

happyhousewife said...

I found this while looking for onion free recipes. I am allergic to onions and anaphylaxis is only moments away if I eat anything with them . I have had people bring food to my table covered in onions just because they "thought I did not like it" and I have been carted out of those places by an ambulance crew because having them on the plate in front of me is enough to make me break out in hives and prevent me from breathing normally. I have to take antihistamines before going to the super market. I have been this way all of my 40 years.I do not eat out much. I spend my life making nearly everything from scratch including ketchup and mustard. I carry an epinephrine pen everywhere. Before I order ANYTHING i always inform the server I am severely allergic to onion. I realize my limitations and it makes travelling difficult to say the least, I have visited emergency rooms in several different states. I am glad even though you think people are lying to you that you take it seriously because if I were to sit at your table some day, I would ask in advance if my allergy could be accommodated before I even order something to drink.

SkippyMom said...

Cranky - I am just reading your archives because I can't sleep but I had to post a comment.

I get what you said - what cracks me up about all the comments are the fact that all the angry, argumentative and poorly spelled comments are anonymous.

That said :D

I am not allergic to sodium but I do know that an excess of it will, in fact, aggravate my CHF. Too much and I wake up the next morning swollen, unable to breath and on my way for a hospital stay to help my heart.

I KNOW what to eat when I do out - if it is any type of chain the info of ingredients and nutrition values can be found online or by asking when you go into the restaurant. I will check before hand and pick.

Barring that - I know what contains [a lot] of sodium and what doesn't and pick accordingly.

It isn't easy but it is an effort I am willing to make to not suffocate overnight in my sleep.

There is no reason to lie about it - especially now that restaurants take this stuff seriously as allergies and conditions have sky rocketed in the past few decades.

I would be more impressed if a diner told me "No butter as I am on a diet" than if they lied.

As for ordering a diet coke with a bacon cheeseburger - anon - I weigh 128 lbs and I LIKE the taste of diet coke, so if I was able to eat a b/cheeseburger I damn well would order it with a diet coke.

Don't be so quick to judge. Some diabetics will order the same thing because they can "afford" the burger but there is too much sugar in a regular coke.

Sorry C - the comments were just ...wrong.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that you have said several times that people will order one thing with no butter and then another with butter. Sometimes the way things are cooked/processed or what food they are with can make a difference. My friend has a dairy allergy and also has celiac. She can have milk in some forms but not in others. Just something to think about.

Anonymous said...

Or... Here's a thought, shut it and do your job!

Anonymous said...

Ok, so it's not aimed at people with allergies... just people who lie, or that you think are lying.

The truth is that *everyone*, including doctors, don't fully understand the digestive system. Even if they did, and could correctly diagnose and inform people, it appears that everyone is different. So, what do they do? They experiment... I, for example, seem to be much, much more allergic to butter than skimmed milk or ice-cream. I could've gone to your restaurant and had a reaction to one food and not another. I'm still figuring things out. The *last* thing I'd need after 24 hours on the toilet and deciding to go out to cheer myself up is some intolerant (!) waitress who thinks she knows more about my body than I do.

If something like this, or simply being asked to do your job, is enough to make you dedicate a blog to it so you can complain then you are in the wrong profession.

Anonymous said...

Purple girl: I heart you. I hate these people with a passion.

All of you anonymous posters: Learn some fucking English.

Anonymous said...

Ya know, the more of your blog posts that I read, the more I realize that you must have been one crappy server.You sound like the dreaded "complains about everyone" server who creates drama and gets so worked up that as a result your tables suffer. I don't find it surprising at all that your managers seemed to not care for you. I'm glad it's "former" server now, though I'm willing to bet that whatever you're doing now, you're still excelling at sucking at it, and blaming everyone else for your "issues".

Anonymous said...

Come on people, everyone has complaints and/or pet peeves about their job. This person just decided to vent online about theirs. Deal with it. I worked as a server for many years. I also have a dairy problem I am still figuring out. I have found some very useful information in this thread - that it's common for butter to cause more problems than milk or cheese with a dairy allergy and the references to chemical changes when certain foods are mixed, such as butter in the mashed potatoes. I am very allergic to raw potatoes but can eat them cooked with no problems, so believe there is something to that. I can't eat hash browns because there is inevitably a bite not thoroughly cooked and I then have to run for the Benadryl... How about a little tolerance on both sides here? Purplegirl, I think you have gotten a lot of flak here because the initial post gives the impression that you think a butter allergy is a whole lot of BS. I don't know if that's what you were trying to say but it is how I interpreted your post and perhaps others did as well. Allergies are a complicated pain in the ass and can be difficult to figure out. It's very possible a customer may not realize that an item contains butter even when it seems like a no-brainer. An appropriate response might be "I just want to be sure you realize that our mashed potato recipe does use butter. Would you still like those with your order or would you prefer something else?" That way you are either calling them out on the lie politely or providing them with information they should have for their dietary needs.

Anonymous said...

I'm also terribly sick after eating butter. When someone says its an allergy, its often because they don't want to go into the full explanation of the butter-sensitivity issue. Easier to just say allergy and be done with it.

Anonymous said...

While I appreciate where you are coming from, I am allergic to dairy. Butter is dairy. Dairy is the most common food allergy. Milk, ice cream, butter, cheese, even baked goods like muffins, croissants, and breads give me hives, make me itch, give me tingling lips, face, neck, and cause bloating, fowl smelling gas, and a tummy ache that can last days. It really sucks and I already feel like a jerk asking if your cook butters random food but I'd rather you think I'm difficult that feel how awful sick I do after eating dairy. or worse, risk anaphylactic shock and die which I get from chocolate (milk is in chocolate too). Maybe your patron just didn't feel like taking a trip to the emergency room that day. Yeah it sucks to be us allergic to dairy people. Try not to make us feel like jerks for wanting to eat without getting sick.

ambernicolle <3 said...

I heart this! People are idiots and just want attention.

ambernicolle <3 said...

I kind of feel bad for us and the world we live in; having to read all of these ridiculous posts and these people are running around free in this world!

Anonymous said...

I think this needs to be put in perspective. You are offended that a person who doesn't know you *might* not trust you. On the other hand, just posting this has made many people with actual food allergies feel uncomfortable ordering at a restaurant because they think the waitress is 99.9% sure they are lying evry time they go to a restaurant.
If you value trust from your customers, you should afford them that same trust.

Anonymous said...

About five years ago I began having serious reactions to certain foods that I previously had no problem eating. It is easier to say that I am allergic to apples than explain that if I have anything sweetened with apple juice I will get a two day puking migraine. While most nut oils don't bother me, if I eat pistachios or almonds, the roof of my mouth will feel like its burning and I will get an instant migraine. Also added to the list were many spices, raisins, nitrites, and hydrolyzed soy products. Not everyone understands that an allergy doesnt necessarily mean you have to avoid ALL types of that food group or product. I have no problem with cheese or yogurt but butter will make my skin break out in itchy red bumps (which is what led me to this particular post) . I try to be as nice as I can when I order food in a restaurant but there have been times when the server simply ignored my request and I wound up sick. So, while you may find it hard to believe that I can have mashed potatoes but not butter, as a customer I feel I have the right to request that certain ingredients be left out of my food without being called a twat for it.

Sarah W. said...

All of you are being oversensitive fucking morons. Half of you don't have a clue what her post was about. She was not addressing every person on the damn planet with an allergy. JUST people who are dieting and who lie about it. Quit trying to pick apart every little thing and trying to make something bad out of it. It's like a fucking TMZ mob. Enough with your sob stories, there are millions of people with allergies. So sit down and shut up.

Anonymous said...

uhm I actually am allergic to butter..so a waiter or waitress should be nice about this because I had my throat close up in a restaurant because some waiter who didn't believe I could be allergic kept butter in my meal.

Unknown said...

First of all, a hiatal hernia is not triggered... Do you even know what a hernia is? Things don't trigger them.

Anonymous said...

Hey I feel ya. Everyone is quick to point out they have these allergies. I understand that. I was in the service industry for 30 years. Yes many have allergies yes you should always mention it to your server but if you cant trust her enuff to use care in handling your food..stay your ass at home and fix your own plate. Using a allergy as a excuse to just get your ranch on the side is ridiculous. I think the whole point here is the lady hates a liar.

Anonymous said...

All of a sudden I hit my mid-thirties and now I get a rash on my face (on one or both sides of my nose) when I eat butter :( I friggin love butter and this is quite unfair. I even buy that non-gmo, non-hormone, expensive, fancy crap... but nope! I get red itchy patches on my face UGH. I blame "The Man"!

I really just wanted to vent.

Anonymous said...

I think you might be or becoming allergic to butter.... or at least the perceptive/component it might have... good news there's good chance it just be butter... bad news... well :x you will have to avoid stuff/food made with butter....

Since that is how a cousin peanut butter allergy reaction started... though a little earlier then you...

Jose Ayala said...

Clearly waiting on people is not for you!!! It is not your job to make conclusions about who is really allergic and who is not. You are not a Doctor. Allergies are complicated even for Doctors.