To the outsider, it will appear a rather trivial issue, but for those in the Westcountry it is an issue of surprising importance and the subject of a long-standing rivalry: should the cream go on top of the strawberry jam or underneath it in your traditional Cream Tea
For those in Cornwall, the jam should be spread first over the scone with clotted cream placed on top, but for those on other side of the border in Devon, the jam should go on top of the cream, as shown below.
The dispute is likely to rise again in the coming days at the 116th annual Devon County Show
held at Westpoint near Exeter, where this year organisers have devoted an entire marquee to the Devon Cream Tea in a bid to promote a campaign to secure geographical protected status under European law.
Launched twelve months ago at the previous County Show, the campaign to secure EU protected status, as already enjoyed by the Cornish Pasty
, Stilton cheese, Mowbray pork pies and more, relies on the correct order of assembly being defined.
If successful, it would mean no store, café or restaurant in the world could serve what they call a Devon cream tea unless all the components are genuinely made and arranged to traditional recipes within the county.
Therefore those who believe in the Cornish method will look unfavourably on a super-sized eight-foot wide scone
(an unofficial attempt at the world record for the largest scone) being baked and served Devon-style – cream first
The man behind the bid to win Protected Designation of Origin
(PDO) status for the Devon Cream Tea, Paul Winterton, general manager at Langage Farm
, South Devon, previously said the move was designed to protect the products' reputation. More than that, he estimates the global value of the Devon Cream Tea to be around £85 billion
However, the bid has yet to win the backing of the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), and so the case for PDO status cannot yet proceed to Brussels.
Anyone for a Cream Tea?
UPDATE (19/05: 20:50):
The super-sized scone was successfully baked today at the Devon County Show, and thanks to @DevonshireTea
, you can see its construction in photos by clicking here
, and here
. Looks delicious...