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Scones & Sconsibility

August 19, 2009

So begins the first of my posts about my Tasmania trip, taken with my delightful food-loving friend Yas (whose blog is called, appropriately, About the Food)

On the way down to Hobart (or up to Launceston, or East to Freycinet National Park) there is a little town called Swansea, but more importantly than that, there is Kate’s Berry Farm, where you can pick and buy berries when they’re in season, and indulge in jam and chocolate all year round. It had been recommended to us as a beautiful spot, and it really is. We arrived late in the afternoon, ordered tea and scones, sat outside and gazed at the view.

View from Kate's Berry Farm

Naturally, as we tucked in to our afternoon tea, the conversation turned to the best way to eat a scone, and whether the jam or the cream should be on top. Yas was of the opinion that the order of jam on bottom, cream on top made the most sense, so I kindly informed her, in no uncertain terms, that she was really entirely wrong, perhaps as wrong as she has ever, or will ever be, in her entire life. You see, the sky, it is blue, and the only proper way to eat a scone is to top with cream, then finish with oodles of jam.

I’m not sure when I first formed this strong and certain opinion, but I’m pretty sure my godmother is the source. Visiting National Trust properties is one of my favourite things to do, and hers too, so whenever I stay with her in England, one or several visits to NT properties is absolutely guaranteed. With a visit to the NT comes a visit to the NT teashop which really should include tea and scones, whenever possible. Which it usually is. And with this ritual comes the lesson: Cream first, and then the jam.

So I convinced Yas to give it a go, the right way. She was worried that she wouldn’t be able to spread the jam evenly, but soon realised that by dolloping and drizzling the delicious preserve (blackberry, if you were wondering, and really bloody good), she could not only spread it evenly, but also get to have more jam. Win win. In addition, by having the jam on top, when you first take a bite, you get the initial Kapow! Gorgeous tasty jam, followed by the silky cream. The other way around and the cream dulls the all important jam hit. No Kapow. Very sad.

When I got back to Sydney I looked into where my scone layering inclinations come from, and it seems I have been trained in the Devonshire way, whereas the jam on bottom, cream on top preference comes directly from Cornwall. This makes perfect sense given the amazing deliciousness of Cornish clotted cream, which is the star of whatever meal it features in. But for the rest of the world? Jam takes top-billing, thankyou very much. Need further proof?

Scones with cream on bottom, jam on top.

I thought not. Enjoy.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 19, 2009 9:03 pm

    After reading this, I’m going to have to give the jam on top of the cream approach to scone eating in the future.

    I’ve always been a cream on top girl in the past. I’m very interested to taste and see the difference…

    • maybenextweek permalink*
      August 21, 2009 2:26 pm

      It’s definitely worth a try! Especially is you’re a jam addict like me 🙂

  2. mitzi G burger permalink
    August 21, 2009 5:07 pm

    Devonshire Tea was as consistent a feature of my childhood road trip holidays as Big Fruit/Vegetable theme parks and Billy Joel casette tapes.

    At every D.T pit-stop, the jam would go on top.
    Thus I have walked the bonny sconey path ever since.

    • maybenextweek permalink*
      August 21, 2009 5:33 pm

      Hey Mitzi,
      Love the Bonny Sconey!
      And you’ve got to love those childhood road trips! We’d always have the Elton John/Eric Clapton/Queen tapes to rock out to. Good times!


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