To the head baker at the Chapel Hill Whole Foods,

Thank you for taking the time to read my mail. My name is Megan, and I grew up in Chapel Hill. I attended UNC-Chapel Hill for college, and I am currently getting my Masters in Public Health in Boston, MA. However, I still visit Chapel Hill at least a few times a year because my parents live there.

And lucky I am that I get to. I should start off by telling you that I am a scone lover. A lover of scones. And by that, I don’t mean just any scones; I mean your scones.

Your scones – cinnamon walnut, cranberry orange, and best of all, chocolate chip – are what initially piqued my interest in scones. Two years ago, I had no idea what scones were. I was always partial to baked goods, but had yet to discover the magic wonders of scones. Then occasionally, my mom would buy a scone from your store maybe once a week. My family liked them, so she began to buy them more frequently. Because she worked in Durham, she also bought the scones from the Durham Whole Foods, but we quickly realized that they were nowhere near as good. Now she buys them for me every time I come back to Chapel Hill meaning she meets me at the airport with one of your scones in tow.

Like I mentioned earlier, I have always loved making and tasting baked goods, but there is something about these scones that is out of this world. The sheer size of each scone may intimidate some people. Some may consume only half of the scone to compensate. For me, the size is perfect (and by that I mean, it’s the perfect size for me to have all to myself), and would only be made better if the scone were ever-expanding so I could eat this scone endlessly.

The best part is the rim around the edge that’s firm and crunchy but not crumbly. The wonderful thing about circular scones over triangular scones is that the edge part, the best part, continues on around the entire scone and is consistently good throughout. The equivalent part on triangular scones is the corner piece, and one can only enjoy 3 of these pieces until he/she must move on to the inferior edge-but-not-corner pieces.

My friends will attest to my obsession with scones. Every time I see a scone in a display case, I must buy it, no questions asked. In Boston, I have visited many cafes and bakeries and tasted a number of different scones, but no scone compares to yours. I have had friends deliver scones to me from bakeries outside of Boston, but no scone compares to yours. Around the country, I have visited many Whole Foods stores to taste their scones; but again, no scone compares to yours. I have even spoken to the head baker at a Whole Foods in Boston to see if I could unravel the secret behind these delicious scones that I could only find at the Chapel Hill Whole Foods. She informed me that all Boston Whole Foods had their scones delivered frozen from a manufacturing company and that the scones in the Chapel Hill Whole Foods were most likely locally made. Arriving at this dead end, I have settled with eating scones to my heart’s desire when I’m back in Chapel Hill and filling a pocket in my suitcase with scones when I travel back home to Boston so that I can enjoy them over time.

I have come to the conclusion that your scone will remain forever in my mind as The Perfect Scone (or TPS), and this is how I refer to it in my scone blog (www.sconesource.wordpress.com). No amount of butter or sugar can replicate the masterpiece that you have created here, and I applaud your baking ingenuity. Thank you for your magnificent culinary abilities and creativity. I can only hope that one day I can make scones as perfect as yours.

Sincerely yours,

Signature

Hoarding scones

I came back late from school and roamed to Whole Foods to pick up a few groceries and of course found myself over by the scones. I was a little doubtful that they would have scones at this hour (it was around 9pm), but lo and behold there were at least 5 scones! I spotted the chocolate chip and cinnamon scones sitting next to each other and picked up one of each. I naively thought that I was finished with my sconing for the day and then my eyes shifted over to the left and I saw three raspberry scones sitting in the display. I HAD to take one of those as well. And then I looked up and saw a vegan chocolate chip scone and was so so tempted to take one but I refrained mostly because three scones fit perfectly into the wax brown bag and adding another would have been a bit troublesome. Otherwise I would have taken one in a flash. So I splurged on three scones today even though I still have two scones from back home in Chapel Hill currently in my freezer. I am a scone hoarder.

Whole Foods (River St) 2Sometimes I am too impatient to take a picture of my scones before I take a bite into them. That’s a lie. I don’t bite into them I break off pieces and eat the pieces.

Raspberry Scone
Whole Foods (River St) – Cambridge, MA

Texture: The top is nice and crunchy but the scone as a whole is not as hard as I typically prefer. It looks like whoever made this scone put egg wash across the top because it has a shininess to it. The inside is muffin-y but a bit drier, and a little spongy; it actually looks like a sponge on the inside (but it sure doesn’t taste like one!). The bottom texture is average. I separated the top and bottom and ate each part separately, and I definitely prefer the top. It’s like the difference between the muffin top and muffin bottom. (On a random side note, I encountered someone today who eats muffins from the top down as in he takes a bite out of the top and works his way down. I was intrigued by the atypicalness of it. Normally people eat muffins from one side to the other side or they pick off pieces from the top and sides. I destroy the muffin by breaking the bottom from the top and eat the bottom first then the top. While this leaves me the best for last aka the muffin top, it also makes me incredibly vulnerable to people coming by and asking for a piece [and who am I to say no to sharing?] and then getting the best part of the muffin without having had to do any of the work. And by work I mean eating the muffin bottom. I acknowledge that similar to this person I encountered, my way of eating a muffin is also not very normal, but it struck me as very odd. Okay, enough of this longer than anticipated tangent.)

Taste: Surprisingly good because it isn’t too sweet. My idealized scone is pretty sweet since it’s chocolate chip and even more so because of the glaze on the top, but the taste of this scone is still pretty good because the lack of sweetness gives you a taste of the other flavors. There aren’t any raspberry pieces, but the flavor of raspberry is very apparent. It’s made with some sort of wheat flour because the dough is dark. The non-sweetness of the scone actually makes me more likely to consume a normal amount of scone in this one sitting because I’m not left with a craving for more sugar.

Best part: The edge corner – crunchy and delicious

Bonus points: It wasn’t triangular.

Overall rating: 5/10

Welcome to my blog about scones!

My name is Megan, and I am a girl in search of the world’s best scones!

I wish I could say that I’m starting today because I just purchased and consumed a scone and then got inspired to write about it, but unfortunately that is not the case. I have been a “sconer” (as one of my classmates so nicely put it) for just about 2 years. I am actually obsessed with all baked goods (with a tendency towards the creamy, chocolate-y, nutty flavor profile as opposed to the fruity, herby flavor profile) but MOST obsessed with scones.

It all began two fateful years ago. I have the great fortune of living (or growing up living) near a Whole Foods that sells AMAZING scones (I call it the perfect scone – or TPS as I’ll refer to it in this blog – but there are some scones out there that have come pretty close). This Whole Foods has several flavors that I have seen including maple walnut, cinnamon, dried fruit and chocolate chip. Two years ago, scones didn’t even blip on my radar. I have always loved baking, but I had never explored scones before. My parents tend to go through food fads; that is, they discover some delicious treat (usually discovered via free samples at Costco or other grocery stores), and, as most people do with things they enjoy eating, they buy that thing consistently for some period of time. To my great fortune, this happened with Whole Foods scones. I came home from college one break, and my mom had bought a maple walnut scone from Whole Foods. Being the food curious individual that I am, I tried some and liked it but did not become immediately obsessed. It took a couple more rounds of buying these scones and one instance of buying the chocolate chip scone which is BY FAR the best for me to really take a liking to them. The chocolate chip scone comes with this delightful glaze (I understand it’s just sugar, but a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down…or a spoonful of glaze makes the scone that much more wonderful). I have tried several times to replicate this scone with no real success.

Interestingly, although this scone is found at Whole Foods and not in one of those cute bakery shops. Despite it coming from a chain grocery store, I have NEVER been able to find these scones at any other location (and my family and I visit Whole Foods wherever we travel to in the States). Even the scones at the Whole Foods in the next town over (which is only 20 minutes away) sells scones that are completely different (think more muffin and less scone).

(I also acknowledge that in their authentic form, scones are not supposed to contain chocolate chips or be all that sweet at all. However, as I have yet to try real scones in the United Kingdom or wherever they may be, I will enjoy the authenticity of TPS to my heart’s content. And hopefully in my description below, I will be able to relay to you its perfection.) I present to you THE PERFECT SCONE.

IMG_4374TPS: You can’t see any chocolate chips in this image, but take my word for it that it is chockful of yummy chocolate chips. This does however illustrate how the glaze is deliciously drizzled on top.

IMG_4505To that wonderful time when I came home for the holidays and my mom had three TPS waiting for me in the bag. The color of the scones in this picture is more accurate to their actual appearance. Plus you can actually see the chocolate chips AND the glaze.

The Perfect Scone (Chocolate Chip with Glaze)
Whole Foods – Chapel Hill, NC

Texture: Crunchy-ish (but I wouldn’t even use the word crunchy…solid may be more appropriate) on the outside and dense-ish on the inside. The dough is not too dry but not too moist. The shape is circular (you’ll hear more about my particularities on scone shape in future blog posts). Hard to the point where it may hurt if someone threw this scone at you (and also large enough that it would hurt from sheer weight).

Taste: Sweet sweet sweet. Made all the better by the glaze on top (I’m pretty sure it’s just a basic sugar glaze, but together the combination of scone and glaze is DIVINE). The dough excluding the chocolate chips has this deep, rich grain flavor.

Overall rating: 10/10 (This isn’t really all too fair because I am using this as my standard of judgment and what would a standard be if it weren’t perfect. But for the record, it is THAT good and my friends who have tried it can vouch for its perfection even after I sufficiently raised their expectations of it.)

And so the scone adventure begins!