Devonshire Cream Teas


A unfortunate and common argument I have is how the correct way to assemble a cream tea. Now as I am from Devon, where the cream tea originates, I of course do it the Devonian way and put cream then jam. However, there are those who think that the jam goes first. This is the Cornish way of doing it, though the actual Cornish way involves putting butter on the scone before the jam. I will just add that the most common name for a cream tea is a ‘Devonshire Cream Tea’, and therefore if you want to have a proper, traditional cream tea you have to put the cream first then jam.

I often have raging debates over this matter (little case of Devon pride going on there) and it is my belief that as I am from Devon I have the highest authority 😛 Also I recently found out that my hometown may be the place where the first cream tea was made. So as I am from Tavistock in Devon and you ever end up eating a cream tea in front of me, remember; put the cream on first.

There is actually a historical reason for this. Back in the old days, jam was incredibly expensive and therefore you couldn’t have as much. If you put the cream down first then you don’t put as much jam on the top (you can also show off the fact you can afford jam) and as most farmers made their own cream they had plenty of it. Also, the idea is to put the cream on when the scone is still warm and so the cream melts slightly, yum yum yum.



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