Clotted cream is tasty stuff. If you’re never tried it, you might want to do so…no joke…stop what you’re doing, go buy some, bake some scones, and plop on some clotted cream. And jam. But wait…which goes first on that scone: the clotted cream or the jam? The great clotted cream debate rages on. But first a bit of background information…

(From Pinterest, Twitter)

(From Pinterest, Twitter)

Devon vs. Cornwall Style Cream Tea

The cream tea is where you have tea (naturally) and scones and clotted cream and jam (often raspberry or strawberry). It originated in either Devon or Cornwall, two areas of England and is enjoyed about the same time of day that an Afternoon Tea is held (around 4 to 5pm). In fact, it is in essence an Afternoon Tea, but the standard food served is a nice batch of scones instead of buttered toast, little cakes, and those little finger sandwiches. And ever since the debate over which goes on the scone first has been carrying on.

The Joys of Clotted Cream

To some of us, British food names are a bit of a turn-off. Things like “toad in the hole,” “bubble and squeak,” and “blood sausage” (which is pretty accurate, actually, and rightfully off-putting). Small wonder that they call this stuff “clotted” cream. No marketing sense whatsoever. I mean, what comes to your mind when you hear something is clotted? That’s called “association,” and a lot of folks don’t associate something positive with the word. At least not until they try clotted cream. (In all fairness, we have a few such food names, too – “hash” for instance brings to mind some big mess). But clotted cream is heavenly – thicker than cream, thinner than butter, a touch of sweetness, spreadable but better plopped on with a spoon.

What’s All the Fuss About?

The folks in Devon find that clotted cream plopped on the scone first and then the jam on top of it is quite tasty and keeps the jam from soaking into the scone (which is split in half). The folks in Cornwall do it the other way around, spreading on jam and then putting a nice plop of clotted cream on top of it – apparently of bit of jam soaked into the scone appeals to them. There aren’t strict boundaries here, though. Devonites can plop that jam on first if they want, and the Cornish scone lovers can plop on that clotted cream first. Folks around them might gasp in horror, though. I, for one, will proudly keep a strict clotted-cream-then-jam order whether dining in the local tea room or in the privacy of home.

Time to get baking…and plopping that clotted cream and jam! Oh, and don’t forget the tea!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

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