|So much potential...would you #Jamfirst or #Creamfirst?|
Now we three Afternoon Tea Ladies have known each other a long time and have long since learned to agree to disagree on this issue. However that doesn’t stop us discussing it every time we meet up to enjoy tea and scones i.e. a lot.
I am a staunch member of Team #Jamfirst whereas the other two are traitorous proponents of Team #Creamfirst.
There has been dispute for centuries over whether the traditional cream tea belongs more rightly to Devon or to Cornwall. Now, Charlotte, a proud Cornish lass and myself, the daughter of a Devonian, are generally happy to accept an equal claim for both counties.
There is also no argument that the cream in question should be clotted cream. None of your whipped cream nonsense, let alone any kind of travesty from a can. Bleurgh.
However the Jam/Cream question is a thornier issue. According to that fount of all knowledge - The Internet - #Jamfirst is the Cornish tradition and #Creamfirst the Devonian. This causes us no little consternation as Charlotte is set firmly in Team #Creamfirst and I’m heading up Team #Jamfirst, so any patriotic county-related arguments we could have are scuppered right at the start.
Mo, with no ties to either county, has decided to come down in the middle, supporting my Devonian roots and siding with Charlotte's preference to come down on the side of Team #Creamfirst. Of course she may have genuine reasons behind her choice but I shall choose to ignore that misguided folly and believe that her choice is purely diplomatic.
So here, in short, are the arguments for both sides.
Team #Creamfirst argues that the clotted cream is acting as a butter substitute in the construction of the finished scone. With its butter-like spreading texture it creates a thick creamy base onto which a blob of jam can be spooned to round off the whole arrangement. They argue that this eliminates a dairy overload of butter and cream and finally that the aesthetics of this particular combo trumps any other.
A pretty set of arguments indeed. However they are, as I'm sure you will agree, completely wrong.
Those of us in Team #Jamfirst, (who are, as of the time of writing, winning the poll) know the truth.
Whether you go for a thin layer of butter first or spread the jam straight onto the warm surface of a freshly-cut scone, you’re onto a winner. The jam will spread beautifully in a way it simply cannot do on top of a layer of cream. The only way #Creamfirst works is to have a dollop of jam in the middle, when surely a thick even layer of jam is superior.
Lastly, cream, especially extra thick clotted cream, is meant to crown any dish, and with your jam evenly spread you can now top your scone with as much clotted cream as you can manage, in gorgeous gloopy mounds. It’s Team #Jamfirst all the way!
Despite our different scone preferences, the Afternoon Tea Ladies are off again this weekend to review another afternoon tea in Central London. Make sure to check Twitter @PMTeaLadies on Sunday for details!
Posted by Caroline