How do you know whether you're from Devon or Cornwall? Let me tell you it is nothing to do with accent or even the use of the local lingo. No apparently it's the cream that will betray you every time. I am sure visitors find the local obsession with first or second perplexing but just get on twitter on National Cream Tea Day and the social media sphere will be alive with a debate that makes the Brexit conversation positively pedestrian.
So what is this all about? Well in Cornwall, for reasons I don't wholly understand, they always put their cream on their scone second after the jam - you've got it, jam first, cream second. However across the border in Devon then it is cream first, jam second. I am not convinced it matters, but there are plenty think it does and will argue about it till the cows come home (to make the cream I suppose).
Now I have a confession! Yes I have eaten a scone both ways - cream first, cream second but as a preference I like to treat the cream as the butter so on first and then a scrumptious dollop of jam.
Now at the risk of starting a further debate I don't believe the traditional Strawberry is the right jam treatment for the lovely scone either but am I brave enough to say that out loud. For me the slight soda of the scone and the richness of the clotted cream needs something sharp - blackcurrant, damson or the like.
At Knapp House I have a love of Bramble Jelly so depending on the time of year my guests will get some deep purple, jewel like jelly, rich in the intense flavour of the hedgerows. I do not leave a note on the tray warning them that the cream goes on first.
Now about the proper shape for a scone anyone??