Snacking the British Way

It is fair to say that the British love their tea. Considering for every single person in Great Britain (children included) over 900 cups of tea are drunk every year. That’s 60 billion cups of tea each year.

Tea first reached the British court in 1662 but we can thank Mr. Thomas Twining for today’s abundance of teas. In 1706 he purchased a coffee house (the popular drink of the time) and started Twining’s– the now world-renowned purveyor of all things tea.

There’s tea for breakfast, high tea in the afternoon, tea after dinner. Tea with cream, sugar, lemon, or nothing at all. There is black tea, white, green, herbal and everything in between. There are plenty of rules as to when and how additives are to be used in tea but one thing is sure, a cuppa never tasted as good as it does when served with cream tea.

Cream tea grew out of the afternoon tea trend started by the Duchess of Bedford. She would get a wee peckish between lunch and dinner so ordered tea, cakes, scones, cream and jam sent to her room. The trend grew and the Duchess made the afternoon snack into an event inviting friends over to join her.

In the mid-1800s the opening of the railway and the increase in tourism generated the need for cream tea. The snack comes complete with tea, scones, jam (usually strawberry) and clotted cream.

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Now, there is a debate as to how the proper cream tea is done. There is the Cornish way and the Devon way. Some say the proper way is to spread the jam before the cream, others say the opposite. No matter how you choose to eat yours it will still taste the same- a delicious bite of heaven that you will want to make a part of your daily routine.

What you will need-

Tea (preferably black or earl gray)
Scones (pick some up at your local grocery store or bakery or make them yourself)
Clotted cream (available at World Market)
Jam (preferably strawberry)

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Make tea according to directions. For black or earl gray use boiling water and steep tea 3-5 minutes. If using loose leaves use about 1 1/2 teaspoons of leaves per serving. If using bags, one bag per serving.

Cut or twist scone in half horizontally like a bun. Drop a dollop of cream (or jam, whichever style suits your fancy) followed by jam (or cream).

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If done properly you will not only feel British royalty but this will become your new favorite go-to snack. I promise.

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