It's National Cream Tea Day and this time we end the age-old debate once and for all: How do you eat yours?

The question that not even quantum computing can solve


It's that time of year again when National Cream Tea Day asks the age-old question: cream then jam or jam then cream?

Since we last posed it, momentous events have happened in the world; the UK is on its way out of the European Union, a former reality show host was elected as US President, Australia caught fire, and Brit Prime Minister Boris Johnson has slapped the national flag on the tail of an Airbus.

We are curious if, amid all the division and strife raging in the country and wider world, at least one schism might be closed and a wound healed.

Cream first and then jam, aka the Devonshire Manoeuvre.

Jam first and then cream, aka the Cornish Gambit.

We can all surely agree that the delightful cakey accompaniment is pronounced "scone" and leave any unpleasantness related to it at the tearoom door.

The Cream Tea Society appears at first glance to be even-handed on the matter, but seems to lean more toward the Cornish method of clotted cream (and it must be clotted – never whipped) and then jam in its etiquette tips. Indeed, the imagery clearly shows the gooey stuff first and then cream on top.

"Don't treat your clotted cream like butter and your scone will be all the better" is the helpful hint.

While this hack's efforts at home baking during lockdown turned out scones with the consistency of hockey pucks, the debate regarding the order of cream and jam application has continued to rage.

Have views on the matter hardened or softened (like a tub of clotted cream removed from the refrigerator and left to fester in yellow-crusted glory by the afternoon tea cake stand)?

Once and for all, and in honour of the cream teas that we will not be rushing into the streets to consume with neighbours and strangers alike this year: what is the one, true way? ®

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