Thursday, 18 August 2011

Off topic - Cream Tea Etiquette

Unless you are from the West Country you are probably blissfully unaware of the etiquette for cream teas.  However, here in the South West this is another one of those never-ending (and pretty pointless) arguments; just like who invented the pasty.... Cornwall or Devon? Who made the first clotted cream? Who makes the best fudge, etc?

Me? I don't really care so much as long as it tastes good, but as an "foreigner" living in Cornwall, I try to blend in by doing things the Cornish way. So here it is -  a simple lesson in cream tea etiquette (as told by many a Cornish elder on my travels).

The Cornish cream tea method is to put the jam on first, followed by the cream.

(The 'cream first, jam on top' method is the Devonian approach. Personally I prefer the Cornish way - and not because I'm biased but because cream is a trickier base for spreading jam!)
Artis enjoys a Cornish Cream Tea by Kitty*Kins
Artis enjoys a Cornish Cream Tea, a photo by Kitty*Kins on Flickr.
Not content with just having a jammy issue, hard stares will also be given to anyone putting butter on their scone. .... that's apparently a big no no too! (Eek! I never knew that... but I've since heard even the Cornish gulls would turn their beaks away! ;-)

So there you go, there's no excuse now.... all thats left is to enjoy the jam and cream goodness. ;-)

(Note: The information given here, follows months of research with my beloved Cornish pensioners, but there's a good chance that I have misheard them. Why? Have you ever heard the real West Country dialect? If not, think of PC Bob Walker from the film Hot Fuzz and you'll start to get the picture - he needed a dog to interpret for him. I do not have that luxury.)


trio said...

I think we may need to do some cream tea testing when we are down there!

Tom Levell said...

Trying to spread jam on top of cream is clearly a ludicrous idea. That's why we always went on holiday to Cornwall and not Devon.