So I’m at my fave coffee shop again. With few exceptions, it’s where I write most of my posts. I feel so Hemingwayesque. Although he actually hung out at cafes in Paris not coffee shops in Atlanta.
My standing order – a large mocha (no whip) and, if I’m feeling particularly peckish (OMG, I love that word!), a scone. An American scone that is.
American scones aren’t like Irish scones, the one’s I’m most intimately acquainted with. Irish scones look at you longingly from the plate and beg you with a “come hither” look to slather them with pure Irish butter, fresh fruity jam and thick cream, then devour them. American scones – the ones that are palatable – just sit on the plate, insolently stare at you and dare you to eat them. At your own risk.
My name is AGMA and I’m a scone snob.
I’ve developed a fairly sophisticated scone palette from my frequent trips to Ireland. Just thinking about Irish scones makes me want to take a cold shower. Thankfully, when Ireland got their independence from England and were getting rid of all things English, some wise Irish person declared the scones could stay. Scones actually originated in Scotland. So they aren’t technically English which is probably why they were allowed to stay.
Too bad that didn’t happen in the U.S. post-1776.
Our scones are pathetic. Cakey lumps sometimes as hard as a rock, sometimes soft and biscuit-like. Most of the time too sweet with the all the wrong textures. A totally inappropriate vehicle for butter, jam and cream. It’s so discouraging to us would-be scone sommeliers…
I have a friend who’s half English. Her mother was a war bride. Growing up, she made trips back to England from the U.S. to visit her kinfolk. She still makes regular trips over there. This woman knows a good scone. When we get together, the scone snobbery abounds.
I feel so ashamed… I know all scones are special in their own way. Each one is unique and they deserve respect for the special individual baked good they are. It’s just that some of them taste like crap.
If I baked, I would try to make authentic scones. You know, the ones who want to spend the night with you clothed only in butter and jam with a dollop of cream covering their hindquarters. Actually, I do bake, but only Christmas cookies and German Chocolate cake – “niche baking” I call it. But then if I could make yummly tummly scones, I’d probably weight twice what I do now and be one of those people who Richard Simmons has to rescue from their La-Z-Boy with a fork lift. Niche baking can be a good thing.
My coffee shop’s scones are decent when they’re fresh. But they’re not like the scones I’ve had in Ireland. I don’t know if it’s the non-GMO flour or the butter or the milk or the eggs they use over there. Those Irish cows and chickens are pretty happy running around on the Emerald Isle. Happy animals = happy scones maybe?
So my search continues for the perfect scone in the U.S. A scone that beckons to me use copious amounts of butter to cover every square inch of it. Wants me to smear fresh, fruity jam all over. Then suggests I load it up with fresh cream that’s been beaten into a silky, white frenzy. Finally whispers to me to slowly, every so slowly, bite into it, chew with my eyes closed and savor every last, delectable crumb.
I don’t smoke, but does anybody have a cigarette?