28 February 2012

[OR_liff] Fisher Scones, A Taste Of The Real Northwest

2785A few days back, I celebrated finding a KATU artifact and bringing it home. The KATU 2 Sign sits, overlooking the living room; when the light is on, we're either all looking at it and admiring it, or I'm down in the studio wasting time doing design or creative work.

The name of the company then, Fisher's Blend Station, Inc, as I remarked then, seemed a mite awkward name for a media conglomerate, and indeed, the company's mission has moved on. In my reading, however, the company only spun off its flouring enterprises as late as 2001. While I have no evidence, I do know that for a great deal of the early part of the 20th Century, in the Northwest, Fisher's Blend flour was the flour, at least it was Fisher's most popular product. And when the Fisher family decided to start broadcasting, with radio station KOMO, it seemed reasonable to advertised Fisher's Blend flour … on 'that Fisher's Blend station', as I also read elsewhere (and can't find the reference, sorry … you'll have to take my word on that). When a holding company was founded to nurture the burgeoning broadcast business, it must have seemed natural to call it just that.

This story at Historylink.net has a more big-picture overview of the history of Fisher.

It did not distance itself far from its flouring origins, and that chapter of the story we look at today. Anyone who's been to a state fair in the Pacific Northwest during the last several decades will surely remember a Fisher's Scone stand. There's surprisingly little to a Fisher's Scone; A hot, just-made (or very very recently-made) triangular biscuit made of Fisher's flour, butter, and raspberry or blueberry jam.

It's a hot biscuit and jam, is what it is, which makes its pervasiveness in PNW culture all the more a triumph. By marketing them at state and county fairs in Oregon and Washington, Fisher made a genius move that will forever have them linked with what is really part of the PNW frame of mind and frame of reference.

Hell, I want one right now. Those babies are magnificent.

Last year, KING-TV in Seattle celebrated the Fishers Scone (amusing that this story is from a FisherComm competitor, but you gets your gold where you finds it) with this report:

Either way you look at it, the Fisher companies have been influencing Pacific Northwest tastes, for better or for worse, for more than a century. I count this in the better column.

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