Existence Precedes Essence – Tisserie (Midtown, NYC)

Pumpkin Scone

Oh what glorious beginnings.  When one stumbles upon a pumpkin-infused scone, the wisest course of action is always immediate consumption.  Just as the fabled Great Pumpkin rises from its mythical lair each year – appearing and vanishing in an instant – so too does the glorious pumpkin flavor grace our pastries and lattes but for the briefest time.  And yet, to find a pumpkin pastry at such a late date!  It must be a sign!  Lest this euphoria go to waste, I order my dear pumpkin scone.  How it beckons to me as I wait to pay.

Of moderate size and emanating a warm orange glow broken only by the promising cinnamon cover, this scone presents a quandary.  The outer crunch would clearly not be an issue.  The ravines that spot the top appear formed by millennia of erosion rather than minutes in an oven.  This leaves a brittle outside with crunch that is aided by the cinnamon crust covering half the top like a crescent moon.  Yet, abnormal ridges on the side suggest perhaps it was baked in a muffin mold.  Will this be a glorified muffin or a true scone?  The odd ratio of height to width only adds to my concern.

Cinnamon compliments the first several bites, highlighted by the promised crunch, but something is missing: the flavor.  Purchased for its pumpkin identity, this scone appears to be amidst a crisis.  What is the flavor inside the scone?  A better question is how does one describe an attribute when that attribute is the very lack of any semblance, any essence of being?  It simply is.  It is not pumpkin.  It is not vanilla.  It is merely dough curated to take shape and provide sustenance but give no thought toward the pleasure of the eater.  My temporary delusion of tranquility crumbles like the long-dead fall foliage.

In utter confusion, I power through, attempting to ignore this injustice against pumpkin-kind.  What I’m left with is something between a scone and a muffin – perhaps a stout corn muffin that is devoid of the titular flavor.  It is dense and dry on the inside, a factor that may be attributed to the lack of any kind of fruit that often resides within a scone.  And that is it.  There is not much else to this “scone.”

While the outer crunch was a pleasure, the inside was a chore to complete.  I am left feeling betrayed.  The scone raised the expectation of pumpkin, only to fail to achieve a flavor of any kind.  It even fell short of clearly being a scone.  What a tragedy.  Despite all this, I am resolute.  I remain in wait for a more promising scone, tomorrow.