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Aug 16 2013

A Naughty but Nice Traditional English Snack

While I was in Devon visiting a friend last weekend, I couldn’t resist the temptation of something I really love.  This time it wasn’t chocolate but a traditional English snack that you may or may not have heard of – a Cream Tea.  This is the focus for this week’s Foto Friday because it is something I always introduce non-British people to and encourage them to try when they are in England.

A common but understandable misconception is that a cream tea is tea with cream.  That would make sense but it isn’t that.  It is tea with a scone that is layered with jam and clotted cream.  So, it isn’t the healthiest snack but it is really tasty!

A scone with clotted cream and jam

Everyone has their own idea of what makes the perfect cream tea.  Even a mathematician from Sheffield University has come up with her own formula for the perfect cream tea.   Well, I’m not a mathematician but, from my own experience of having had many cream teas over the years, I have my own ideas.

I prefer a homemade scone.  Many places, like the one I was at last weekend, tend to use shop bought ones but  I honestly don’t think they can compete with a warm, freshly baked homemade scone.

After that, it’s down to the toppings – the jam and the cream.  I’m not fussed whether homemade jam is used, although it’s a bonus if it is.  The cream, however, must be clotted cream primarily because it is naturally thick so you don’t need much, unlike whipped cream.

So, which topping should you put on first – the jam or the cream?  This is up for debate; seriously, I’m not kidding!  Apparently, the Devon tradition is to put the cream first and the Cornish tradition is to put the jam first.  This, I think, is down to individual preference.  I prefer to do it the Cornish way and put the jam first, only because it’s easy to spread the jam on the scone and then it provides a good base to add lashings of clotted cream.

The traditional accompaniment to the scone is a pot of tea.  The thing is, I don’t really like tea so I always plump for cup of coffee.  For me, that is the ideal accompaniment to my scone with jam and clotted cream.

At the end of the day, it really is up to you!  The main thing with cream teas is that you enjoy and savour every delicious mouthful! 🙂

Have your say

Have you ever had a cream tea?  Do you prefer to put the jam or cream first?

About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.

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  1. Afternoon Tea with a Difference - Independent Travel Help

    […] in London, years ago.  Normally, if I’m going to have afternoon tea, it tends to be just a cream tea because it’s more widely available, less formal, and more affordable on a regular basis. […]

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