It’s ridiculous how many column inches (and even scientific studies, I kid you not) that are devoted to the topic of the pronunciation of the word Scone AND whether the correct way to eat it is by putting the cream or jam first on to your treat.
I’m involved in a twitter group called @CreamTeaHour (Thursdays 8pm) and almost always, no matter what topic we’re supposed to be debating, it comes back to arguing over Scone/Scon and Cream or Jam first. It’s vehement stuff too! I’m sure wars have been fought over less.
Unfathomable to Overseas Visitors
What must overseas folks think of us? I’ve never yet seen Americans arguing over the order of mustard or ketchup on their hotdogs.
For a start, there’s the misconception that a Cream Tea involves putting cream into your actual cup of tea. Oh dear. And let’s not even touch on the problem of calling Afternoon Tea ‘High Tea’. Sigh.
But furthermore, overseas people have invariably never even tasted Clotted Cream and have no idea what that treasured treat is in the first place.
Three times when I’ve been in North America, I’ve been offered marmalade instead of jam with my scones - and also, what we call a scone and what other nations call one, is somewhat different too…and biscuits fall into that debatable category as well!
Come on over, the kettle’s on
Really, the best thing is for us to invite everyone over here so they can taste and adore the real thing. Plump, fluffy scones with lashings of fresh and crusty clotted cream (yes, they won’t even know about the crust, will they?) and the best of fruit-filled jam to pile on too. Words like dollop and ‘cakey tea’ - we’ll translate it all by demonstrating the delights of enjoying a cream tea, including the fact that we should be breaking our scones in half, not cutting them with a knife. Ahem! Whether you are a cream or jam first sort of person (and of course, if you’re from Cornwall, it’s jam first) and however you pronounce Scone, we’ve plenty to share. Oh and if you want to stop the squabbles and know the definitive answers, here’s the link to the oracle.