Several of my co-workers at The News Tribune have asked me to investigate whether the scones served at this year’s Puyallup Fair are smaller than those served in years past.
Here’s a photo of a scone I bought at the fair this year, followed by a photo I took last year of a scone I bought then.
Is there a difference? It’s hard to tell from this one example; this year’s scone seemed taller, while last year’s seemed flatter and wider. But perhaps they were still the same volume, just a different shape.
I was interviewing a third-generation scone maker about his job last night and decided to ask him if the scones have shrunk in size. He said no. In fact, he said that would be impossible, because the fair uses the same machine every year to parcel out balls of dough, which are in turn cut into fours by regularly-sized cutters. None of the equipment has changed, said my interview subject, Josh Walston, who is a supervisor of scone operations at the Puyallup Grandstand scone booth.
He said the machine that divides up the dough is making the same sized dough-balls as in years past.
Another interesting fact I learned about scones today: the fair’s strawberry shortcakes are made with rejected scones.
Grandstand scone booth manager Leona Elder said that if a scone doesn’t rise properly or pop open easily when workers attempt to fill it with jam and butter, it’s tossed aside to be used for strawberry shortcakes. The same fate awaits any scones that are deemed too small, she said.
Maybe everyone else knew that, but I didn’t.