It's one of the greatest debates of our time - what comes first, the jam or the cream?
Cream tea has a rich history in Britain, evolving from afternoon teas, or high teas, made popular by the Duchess of Bedford in the early 1800’s as a way to entertain her friends whilst the men were out shooting.
History tells us that cream teas did in fact originate in Devon in the 11th century at Tavistock Abbey. Any self respecting Devonian folk knows that cream goes first on your scone with jam on the top. However, across the Tamar in the county of Cornwall, we see things rather differently. A generous spread of jam FIRST, followed by the crowning glory of cream.
It is preferable to use loose leaf tea and brew in a traditional silver teapot.
Put the knife down. In a Cornish cream tea, the scone should strictly be broken in half with your hands.
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The warm climate and clean air of the south west means Cornish farmers produce some of the most rich and creamy milk. This is used to make cream, warmed up and then cooled to form a crust on top; this is clotted cream, the ONLY cream you should be putting on your scone.
Usually good old strawberry jam is the best option - made from wild English strawberries if possible. Raspberry and blackcurrant are also great alternatives as they are sharp, providing a nice balance to all that cream.
You can’t bet a proper cream tea! 😊