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Scones, Modern Day Vs. Traditional
If you have never eaten a scone, you should. This delectable little oven-baked pastry is as flaky as an American biscuit and light to golden brown in color. The basic recipe calls for oatmeal, barley or wheat flour, baking powder, sugar, milk, eggs, and butter. It comes in a variety of flavors and shapes: plain, honey, yogurt, potato, pumpkin, thyme, rose (yup, the flower), fruit-filled, infused with chocolate chips, nuts, cheese, bacon, sausage, and on and on. Regarding shapes, they could be round, square or triangular. They even come prepackaged like pancake mix, so you can make your own. Enjoy them at breakfast time (when they are most eaten) with coffee, tea, hot chocolate or milk. Or, have them as dessert. Today’s scones are found in bakeries, supermarkets, and tea and coffee shops around the globe.
The most popular scones are the ones made with bits of dried fruit. They are loved by Americans, Canadians, the British, Australians, New Zealanders, and Argentineans. Some regions have concocted their own flair and christened them with unique names. For instance, in Hungry, they make pogassa which they top with dill and other seasonings.
Scones have also appeared in the Guinness world records. Officially, the largest one weighed 263 pounds and five ounces. It measured about three feet and ten inches in diameter. This humongous pastry was made by Shaun McCarthy of New Zealand. In the fall of 2011, a group of Australian Women claimed to have baked one weighing approximately 392 pounds.
Depending on with whom you speak, the word, scone is said to have derived from the Dutch, the Germans, the Scottish region of Scone or the Gaelic word, “sgonn.” In Britain, they call it “skaun” and “skoane.” Whatever its origin, spelling, and pronunciation, the scone in its earliest form was made from unleavened oats or barley and baked on a girdle –known on this side of the Atlantic as a griddle. It was actually one large, round, flat biscuit which was quartered into triangles after baking. When baking powder was discovered as a leavening agent in the mid-19th century, it was added to scone recipes. This gave the pastry a bit of height and lightness. In some countries such as Scotland, it was also (and still is) prepared fried. It is believed that scones have been around since the 16th century.