For the British, scones are serious business. While Americans might just grab one on the go from Starbucks, in the UK, they’re an essential part of the much more classy meal known as cream tea. Yet cream tea is a contentious topic, filled with controversial questions like, “Does the jam come before the clotted cream, or after?” According to The Independent, no less an authority than the Queen herself has now weighed in on the answer.
Cream tea served with jam and clotted cream dates back to the 11th century in the UK, according to The Guardian, though the scone itself didn’t become part of the tradition until later. Though individual habits may differ, the common wisdom is that in Cornwall, the jam comes first, then the cream on top of that, while its next-door neighbors in Devonshire put the cream first, then the jam.
Queen Elizabeth II appears to be in the Cornish camp, former royal chef Darren McGrady recently said on Twitter. An 11-year veteran of Buckingham Palace, the chef reported that palace garden parties always involved jam-first, cream-second scones, no doubt horrifying a significant subset of her subjects while vindicating others.
Up next, will someone please find out how the Queen pronounces scone?
[h/t The Independent]