We all have our regional food peculiarities. Here in Chicago, we refuse to put ketchup on our hot dogs and eat deep-dish pizza, which some other city’s residents might consider an abomination. So maybe it’s not too surprising that a scandal erupted in England over an ad that had its cream tea in the wrong order, according to some, now known as #jamfirst-ers.
Apparently the neighboring towns of Cornwall and Devon are the Hatfields and McCoys of the cream tea set, raging over which item should be spread on your scone first during a cream tea (really, the most heavenly of all the snacks). Devon opts for cream first, while Cornwall goes for jam. But unfortunately in an advert for an upcoming Mother’s Day event at the Cornwall National Trust property of Lanhydrock House And Garden, the featured picture showed the jam on top of the cream instead of the other way around.
The offending picture, according to the Telegraph, “has been called ‘unacceptable,’ ‘shocking,’ and ‘disgusting,’ with some Cornish people threatening to cancel their memberships.” Monocles must have fallen in soups all over Cornwall. Lanhydrock House apologized, reprimanded the poor employee responsible for the photo, and gave #jamfirst pins to its staff members.
The Devon Live website then responded with an article that it says proves the cream-first method is correct. With science! Food scientist Dr. Stuart Farrimond “concluded that it’s also far more practical to apply cream FIRST as it facilitates the application of a more easy and even spread of the toppings to achieve the perfect 4:3:3 ratio”—that’s scone:cream:jam.
We would think it was a bit silly—and would be ready to chalk up #Sconegate to a ridiculously high level of English propriety—if we hadn’t thought of an American version of the same debate: Do you put your condiments on top or bottom of your burger? You may feel strongly about your answer, and probably don’t understand people who do the opposite, just like those cream tea fans. Now, how can you get clotted cream here in the U.S.? Asking for a friend.