Cranberry Orange “Bisconie”
What is a “bisconie?” This is the question I ponder as the scent of the freshly opened six-pack of Costco brand scones – mysteriously deemed “bisconies” – washes over me. It is true that the brittle crunch of the outer rim of a scone can be reminiscent of biscotti. Yet, biscotti, with its near pumice-like texture and frequent absence of secondary flavors (such as fruit or chocolate), are most certainly not scones.
My particular bisconie, selected due to its uncanny symmetry, is large, suggesting it has been designed to stand on its own as a meal. Examining the sugar cubes flecked on its exterior, I grow concerned that the inside will lack sufficient sweetness; the cubes serving as last minute additions to address this shortcoming. Yet, this anxiety is fleeting, as I’m reminded of the humble big box store origins of this fine specimen. Surely excess sweetness is the likelier outcome. Now, to let the scone reveal its secrets.
I pull it apart with disappointment. It gives willingly, revealing a lack of crunch and dashing my hopes elevated by its golden façade. It’s dense, both due to the dough and from the overflowing cranberries in each bite. This may well be the first scone – excuse me, bisconie – I’ve reviewed where the fruit is edging toward excessive. The cranberries themselves are slightly moist, eluding the desiccated state I expected, but are no highlight. A saving grace is that, in lieu of my beloved crunch, the dough’s density, which increases in succession emanating from the center, produces a contrast that turns the outer edges into fairly satisfying bites. Oddly, the packaging boasts of orange flavor. If it does exist within this doughy bundle, my senses are too coarse to pick it up.
Overall, it’s a sweet and tolerable item. The sugar cubes add interesting texture and the density somewhat distracts from the disturbing lack of crunch. Yet, its near gargantuan size suggests a fairly bland loaf of raisin bread rather than biscotti. In fact, I wonder if the name derives from a typo at Costco HQ. Or, perhaps someone in the Costco naming department decided to write checks that their bakers couldn’t cash. It’s truly perplexing.
This scone (it is a scone after all) represents an Americanized version of the scones I often found in England: overly-large, very sweet, a little hearty, nourishing, but mostly bland and disappointing. In the end, I will eat most of these serviceable objects, but that process will be devoid of fresh discovery or delight. Yet, competence, even from a scone, should never be undervalued.