Visited the Danish Pastry House recently, with high expectations. Staff was very friendly, and there were 1000 marvelous things (it seemed) to choose from. I chose a selection to try. Lots of things with marzipan/almonds, which I love. Lots of 'traditional' danish pastry-type sweets, the kind with layered pastry.
The problem? Their use of shortening. That pasty mouthfeel and acrid aftertaste was in almost everything we tried. Where's the butter??? I even went back a few days later and tried some other things and it was even worse. One pastry seemed like it was made up of nothing more than whipped, sugared Crisco with a bit of almond flavoring and some almonds spread on top. It was pretty nasty. My husband had to throw his out. I'll eat anything, but felt disappointed afterwards.
The person behind the register confirmed they use a shortening 'blend' in most things. In pastries this straightforward the shortening taste really comes out and the butter is really missed. Also things can seem overly sweet.
I also felt kind of tricked by the croissants. I always understood that croissants made with shortening were supposed to be the straight ones and ones with butter were supposed to be the crescent-shaped ones. DPH's were crescent-shaped, but tasteless and gritty.
I'm really crushed. I am always in search for a decent pastry and keep running into the shortening problem. I would be their most loyal customer if they just used the butter that these recipes call out for.
If they use shortening to cut costs, why not make fewer pastries and use butter instead?
Sigh. I won't be going back. :-(