Pearls before Swine – Euphorium Bakery (The City, London)

Raisin Scone

If one smashes their head against a wall enough times, repeatedly cursing the wall, perhaps they should look inward rather than blame some helpless concrete.  Entering into these cafes with expectations is dangerous, and, yet, I found myself wandering into another eatery, hoping for a respite from my extended sojourn from proper scones.  What I encountered was – who could doubt it – another raisin scone.  If I were told that the economy of the United Kingdom operated wholly on the distribution and use of raisins in various products, I would not question it.

Nevertheless, a scone sat before me, glistening, plump, and looking slightly jaundiced in color.  But, to my astonishment, it was completely acceptable.  In order to fairly review this scone or, moreover, to hold any of these reviews as valid, I would need to delude myself in to thinking that my now over a year-long exile in this godforsaken land has not affected my ability to differentiate true scone mastery.  Yet, as pragmatic as I am, I am equal parts quixotic, and will stop at nothing to continue my scone reviewing mission until I find the ideal pastry.  And so I continue.

The scone had an impressive size and was accompanied with no doubt glorious jam (had I been able to apply it).  The golden color indicated that I was in for acceptable crunch.  The raisins looked bold and full-bodied.  The shape was pleasingly odd.  I could not help but think that this scone looked to have the face of a bird, with raisin eyes that pierced me to my very soul.  Before quickly massacring my new avian friend, I remained concerned that, if one removed the raisins, this item would easily be categorized as a biscuit in my homeland.  As such, I anticipated extreme dryness for the interior, but was pleasantly surprised to find perfectly tender, if extremely dense innards.  The raisins were a highlight of each bite and were present with appealing frequency.  Best of all, crunch was not isolated to corners, but along the sides as well.  For all these positive qualities, the scone remained bland and uninventive.  A raisin scone, through and through.

Overall, the scone proved perfectly acceptable, if not slightly above average.  In our jaded society, where every scone must either be the best or worst, it is comforting to know that mediocrity, in its best possible iteration, can be found just down the road.




Variations on a Scone (Part 1) – Kayak’s Café (Skinker-DeBaliviere, St. Louis)

Lemon Raspberry Scone (on the right)

Before reviewing this scone, two things should be made clear.  First, I ate the two scones reviewed in part 1 and 2 sequentially, beginning with the Lemon Raspberry scone.  This is simply an unacceptable methodology, as it skews the results, and, therefore, this approach will never be repeated from now on.  Second, I have a long history with these scones.  Hence, lofty expectations abound.  Let’s see how the first scone holds up.

The formula for this scone has clearly changed since I last enjoyed it mere months ago.  The glorious crunch of the outside remains, but it is quite literally inundated with sugar.  One cannot consume this much sugar regularly, diminishing my desire to return to this scone in the future.  Moving on, the scone is of tremendous size and the insides are exceptionally soft.  There are raspberry seeds interspersed, but the flavor is lacking.  One expects fruit chunks with scones, and it is impossible to ignore that there are none.

The sugariness of this scone turns each bite into a devilish guilty pleasure.  Yet, like all guilty pleasures, this scone is followed by serious regret.