Saturday, March 25, 2023

scones and aftermath

I'm at the office now, slaving away, but here are a few pics from my outing earlier today.

A sign in Charles's apartment building still warns about masking up.

Charles's scone, made with rye flour and punctuated (sexed up!) with walnuts.

Charles put out several kinds of jam.

Signs on the 5th floor, also warning to mask up. Take 'em down!

Dogok Station: a sign saying the mask requirement (lit. "duty") has been lifted (but is still recommended).

Cherry blossoms, called butt-goat (벚꽃) in Korean.

trying to crop out all the buildings

There's an Emma Bakery in the building where I work. Out of curiosity, I bought a "choco-chip" scone.

up close

dry as a bone

not a happy camper

Charles's scones were fresh out of the oven. He had all the ingredients ready, and he made the scones in front of me. I think it took less than twenty minutes to bake them. They were made with rye flour, which is not to be confused with the taste of American rye bread. Rye bread gets its distinctive taste from caraway seeds. Maybe it's because Charles's scones had come right out of the oven, but it may also be because Charles put a good bit of butter into his dough; either way, Charles's scones were crumbly and moist while the horrible brick I got from Emma Bakery was arid, desiccated, and bland as hell, even with chocolate chips in it.*

So—do you pronounce scones as \ skoʊn, \ or as \ skɒn \? Both are legitimate pronunciations. From the Irish Times:

In 2016, a YouGov poll was conducted across the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland to geographically locate the different pronunciations of this buttery treat. According to the survey, afternoon teas in Scotland and Ulster would include scones as in “gone” while folks further south in England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland would be ordering scones in “bone”.

Other references say different things., which includes a British English dictionary that you'll see if you scroll down, lists both pronunciations without any explanation as to why there are two pronunciations. The UK's Daily Record says:

The pronunciation of 'scone' is a touchy subject for many, as it's the cause of a worldwide argument spanning years and years. But one woman has explained the proper way of saying it, thus supposedly ending the debate—but warns that people may not agree with her reasoning.

Jane Malyon, 65, has confirmed that scone should be pronounced to rhyme with 'bone'—and she also controversially believes that cream should slathered on before the jam, the Mirror reports. Jane is an afternoon tea expert, and has tasted hundreds of different teas, scones, jams and triangle sandwiches in her lifetime.

[ ... ] 

She said: "My world is spent answering 'scone' vs 'scon'. I say it like 'cone' personally but Her Majesty did always say 'scon'. I think more people say 'scone' but the ones who say 'scon' swear they're the only ones that say it right. Posh people definitely say 'scon'—but ultimately both are valid."

I don't think anything's been settled, but suffice it to say that people both inside and outside of the UK have their own way of pronouncing the innocent little word.


*Emma Bakery is very hit-or-miss. Their French baguettes are great—exactly like what you'd get at a bakery in Paris. (Kim Young Mo Bakery, up the street, does perfect rustic baguettes with the thicker crust.) Emma also does a good apple turnover. Pretty much everything else, though, is of middling quality, which saddens me. Avoid Emma's macarons at all costs.


Charles said...

I have been sorely tempted to take down those signs myself. It's not like anyone pays attention to them anymore anyway.

I've found bakery scones to be something of a gamble as well. Occasionally you will find some good ones. Fresh out of the oven is obviously best (which was the whole reason why I had you come over in the first place), but they shouldn't be dry even after they've cooled. For our previous batch of scones, I think I polished off the last one three or four days after they were baked, and it was still great.

I'm going to have the lone remaining rye scone tomorrow, probably. I'm curious how it will be.

Kevin Kim said...

Kim Young Mo scones are good. KYM is generally good with Western breads except for panettone, which no one seems able to do right.

Charles said...

Yeah, I would agree that KYM generally has good stuff.