To satisfy a growing curiosity, I stopped into a coffee shop today to inquire about the origins of the scones they have on display. I say "on display" because they appear to be props. Okay, sorry. I will try to leave exaggeration out of this because we have a very serious matter on our hands. They may not be props, but they are clearly an afterthought. To be fair, their first thought, their baby, their true love is coffee. It's quality. They roast it on site and they have interesting, complicated, upscale coffee drinks to choose from. I haven't ordered one, but they look legit, and they take a really long time to make. What I am trying to say in too many words is that they have a lot going for them. And a cup of coffee is the perfect place to start. To start. You can't stop there unless you have not a baked good in sight.
But they lots of baked goods in sight. The scones. Oh, the scones. It's painful. I'm sure you've seen similar products in your travels. Maybe at a rest stop or 7-eleven? The uniform triangularity, the small precise squiggle of icing on top, the saran wrap. On my first couple of trips in there I wanted to believe they made them on location. If they have a coffee roaster in the back, surely they have someone to throw some dough in the oven. Maybe he or she has a compulsion to make every single scone look exactly the same. It's possible.
I even bought one. And I won't claim that right then and there I knew that they had been shipped in from somewhere far away. It was fine. It was dry, hard, I didn't finish it, but it was fine. And that was in the early morning.
Today was my day to find out the truth. Hoping for the best, I walked up to the counter and asked the cashier where they got their scones. He didn't know but went to the back to pick up the order sheet. He came back and read me the name of a generic-sounding company. I asked if it was a local company and he thought they come from Philadelphia. Philadelphia is approximately 80 miles away. I asked (politely) if there was a manager available. He went to the back again and came back with the actual owner. A good sign and we had a very nice chat.
He told me about the frozen scones they order in bulk about once or twice a month and then thaw before serving, I mean displaying. And then I heard myself tell him about the orange-cranberry scones I make, and the white-chocolate-cranberry scones I have made before and I even heard myself talking about the biscotti that I have made in the past, maybe four times in my life.
He told me that they are shopping around for a new scone supplier and that I should bring some by next time I make a batch. He gave me his card and I said okay. Shoot.
To be continued. Maybe.