When I dropped in to buy fresh tomatoes at Ricardoes, a tomato and strawberry farm just north of Port Macquarie in the mid-north coast of NSW, I wasn’t prepared for this life-changing experience.
There they were, just past the jars of tomato sauces and strawberry conserves, a fresh batch of scones.
Not the usual tray of boulder-like baked goods you might see behind glass in a bakery; these were straight out of the oven, fluffy, lightly dusted with flour and begging to be slathered with jam and a dollop of cream. I had to try.
Tell me that’s not a good-looking scone. Picture: Andrea BlackSource:Supplied
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Can a scone melt in your mouth? Can a scone be light as a billowing cloud yet exude buttery tastiness? Can a scone be so delicious that days later you’re planning a two-hour return trip to said farm for more? Yes, yes and yes.
I don’t claim to be a scone expert but have been a long-time fan. I’ve tasted scones at various morning and afternoon teas in England, sampled some of the best Scottish scones at my granny’s home near Edinburgh, and afterwards saluted the statue in Leith of poet Robert Burns, who once wrote that scones were “the wale of food” – wale meaning simply “the best”.
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These mounds of glory have long been controversial. Is it pronounced scone, as in gone, or scone, as in cone? Do you put the jam on first, and then the cream as they do in Cornwall?
Or go the Devon route and slap on the cream before the jam?
Whatever, I have found the best, and the bonus is, if you really want fresh toppings you can grab a bucket and pluck your own strawberries from the vines at Ricardoes.
I bought jars of jam too, and another takeaway scone to enjoy fireside at the nearby Telegraph Retreat Cottages.
I was so blown away by the experience I forgot to buy the tomatoes. Next time.
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