During SXSW I attended a panel about grocery stores, and how they need technology to be able to survive. The tech guys on the panel (for there were no women on panel, despite women doing the bulk of grocery shopping, nor grocery store employees) threw out a statistic: that 41% of millenials don’t do their shopping in a traditional store.
Stats without context confuse me. Now, I’m not necessarily a millenial, depending on who you ask, but I certainly do a lot of my grocery shopping in a traditional store. I also do it elsewhere. In a given month, I’ll have visited HEB, Whole Foods, in.gredients, Wheatsville Co-Op, specialty stores like Antonelli’s and Salt & Time, farmers markets on Sundays, Wednesdays, and/or Saturdays, and had food delivered to my door via Greenling. So maybe grocery stores don’t need to be adding electronic carts that warn you that those crackers contain gluten or figure out personalized pricing, and instead should be examining why people like me are choosing to diversify when it comes to getting our food supply.
It does seem like a few stores are looking into this, and HEB is one of them. HEB is the main grocer in central Texas, and oftentimes the stores are stocked based on what area of town you live in. When we lived in far Southeast Austin, our local store offered a wide variety of peppers (fresh and dried), tropical fruits, and other items that catered to our predominantly Hispanic neighborhood. Now that we live in a northern suburb, the closest store to my house offers lots of organic and special-diet items.
In addition to paying attention to its clientele, many stores are now making sure to offer products created locally. Granted, we don’t produce quite as many food items as California does, but Texas is a huge state and every time I turn around I’m hearing about another new food or beverage company. I love trying new products, especially local ones, so when HEB asked if I’d like to try some of their Texas-sourced Primo Picks, I jumped.
This pregnant lady attacked the package of chocolate chip cookies, but once I uncovered a jar of Better Than Good Bacon Jam, I knew it was all over. If you’ve never had bacon jam, well, I just don’t know what to tell you other than you need to get yourself some, stat. If you can’t find bacon jam in your local store or market, try making it at home – both Creative Culinary and Food Renegade have recipes. Once you have it, resist the urge to put it on everything, so you can make these scones.
Bacon Jam Scones
makes 8 scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) cold butter, cut into small chunks (preferably Kerrygold or Cabot)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup bacon jam
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sift together dry ingredients, then cut in butter with a pastry cutter or your fingers until the mixture resembles a corse meal – but leave some larger chunks of butter as well.
Slowly mix in the milk until a cohesive dough forms (you might not use all of the milk, or you might need more, depending on your flour’s moisture content and the humidity of your kitchen). It should be not too dry or too sticky.
Fold the bacon jam into the dough, mixing it thoroughly through the dough, but try to not overwork it, or your scones will become tough.
Place dough onto the baking sheet and pat into a circle. Using a bench scraper or large knife, cut dough into wedges, but do not separate. This will allow for better rising and make the scones more tender.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until browned and irresistibly aromatic.
Disclaimer: I was given a bag of HEB products for the purpose of review. I was not required to create a recipe, and all opinions are my own. My opinion is that bacon is essential.