There are few things more quintessentially English than the humble scone - and one South Yorkshire bakery hopes to spread love of the floury delicacy across the world.
Haywood and Padgett is preparing to bring a taste of the west to the east when they showcase their stock at an international trade fair in China.
The family-run company in Barnsley, which is the UK’s largest manufacturer of scones, is making a 5,000-mile trip to Guangzhou International Food Trade Fair next week.
The idea came after Bridget Pearson, founder of the firm Your Bridge to China, carried out market research with overseas students at Sheffield Hallam University.
She said: “We have found there is not a lot of competition for scones in China as it is a relatively new product on the market.
“I think it is important at this stage to keep the product exactly as it is, and explain to Chinese people about our culture around the traditional English afternoon tea.
“The research was interesting as the students came up with lots of different opinions. One thing they suggested was adding spicy sausage to a cheese scone - I wasn’t sure about that.”
Haywood and Padgett began as a small bakery in Wombwell 29 years ago and supplies to big chain supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda and Tesco.
As well as dishing out their produce in China, bakers from the Carlton-based business will be treating visitors to gifts designed to represent the history of Barnsley’s coal mining industry.
Wayne Padgett, managing director, said: “As a company we are proud to celebrate our Barnsley roots, so we are taking special gifts made with coal to China.”
The news comes just days after University of Sheffield academic Dr Eugina Cheng came up with the formula for a ‘perfect’ scone with jam and cream.
Dr Cheng, from the university’s school of mathematics, developed an equation which uses the radius of the scone to calculate how thickly each topping should be spread. One weighing 70g would require 35g of jam and 35g of cream.
Dr Cheng said: “Building a good scone is like building a good sandcastle, you need a wider base and then it needs to get narrower as it goes up.”