Topic Clotted Cream
As I may have mentioned in the past I belong to a Sherlock Holmes Society. For our annual Christmas gathering I gave the group a history of clotted cream I thought I would share as its origins are at the very least Medieval.
In England the entire service ( tea, scones, jam and clotted cream) is just called creamed tea.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A cream tea, comprising tea taken with scones, clotted cream and jam.
Alternative name(s) Devonshire tea, Cornish cream tea
The name “Devonshire tea” comes from the county of Devon in England, where it is a local speciality. The exact origin of “cream tea” is disputed, although there is evidence to suggest that the tradition of eating bread with cream and jam already existed at Tavistock Abbey in Devon in the 11th century.
Cream teas are offered for sale in tea rooms throughout the United Kingdom (especially South West England) and the rest of the Commonwealth, or wherever someone wants to give an impression of British influence.
Were cream teas “invented” in Tavistock?
Made in Devon…cream teas?
BBC – Devon Features – Did cream teas originate in Tavistock in 997AD?
Local historians in the historic Devon town of Tavistock have unearthed evidence that the cream tea originated there around 1,000 years ago.
Think of Devon, and what images spring to mind? There’s the rolling hills, the sandy beaches, the thatched cottages…and then there is of course the delicious cream teas!
The mouth-watering combination of scones, jam and clotted cream has tempted locals and visitors alike for as long as we can remember – but just who “invented” the snack?
Local historians in Tavistock, West Devon, think they’ve found the answer.
They’ve been studying ancient manuscripts as part of research leading up to next year’s 900th anniversary of the granting of Tavistock’s Royal Charter by King Henry I in 1105.
After piecing together fragments of manuscripts, they’ve discovered that the people we have to thank for creating Devon’s favourite dish are the monks of Tavistock’s Benedictine Abbey.
The Abbey was established in the 10th century, but was plundered and badly damaged by a band of marauding Vikings in 997AD.
It took a lot of hard work to restore the Abbey, and the task was undertaken by Ordulf, Earl of Devon. His father Ordgar, Earl of Devon, had been responsible for establishing the Abbey in the first place.
Ordulf was helped by local workers, and to reward them, the monks fed them with bread, clotted cream and strawberry preserves. And so, the Devon cream tea was born!
The cream teas were so popular, that the monks continued to serve them to passing travellers.
To mark the discovery of this little piece of Devon history, the cream tea will be taking pride of place at this year’s Tavistock Food and Drink Festival on 31st July and 1st August.
Festival president, Mike Hooper, is delighted at the find: “How extraordinary that, after so many years, Tavistock can perhaps claim to be the birthplace of the original cream tea.
“We can only wonder who it was who carried news of this Abbey dish into Cornwall,” he added.
Unfortunately, the Abbey had an unhappy end, with King Henry VIII’s ‘Dissolution of the Monasteries’ order in 1539. The centre of the town now sits on the site and some of the remains can still be seen.
But at least it left us its legacy…the Devonshire cream tea.
Sir Francis Drake was born in Tavistock
This last is a poem I found on the blessings of clotted cream by Edward Capern, an English poet.
“Sweeter than the odours borne on southern gales,
Comes the clotted nectar of my native vales –
Crimped and golden crusted, rich beyond compare,
Food on which a goddess evermore would fare.
Burns may praise his haggis, Horace sing of wine,
Hunt his Hybla-honey, which he deem’d divine,
But in the Elysium’s of the poet’s dream
Where is the delicious without Devon-cream… ?”
By Joanna Linsley- Poe