When I visited Cornwall, England, in 2003, I was all about the cream tea. I was with friends who knew my penchant for tea and they had arranged for a special tea on my birthday. However, every time I saw a sign for tea in a shop window, I stopped immediately and went in. Why wait for just one special experience when you can have a variety of them?!
That's why I knew I had encountered a kindred spirit when I came across an article in the Washington Post travel section titled "Getting Creamed in Cornwall:"
I had fallen madly in love. With clotted cream.
Yes, I swooned over something that sounds like you should put a Band-Aid on it rather than eat it. But, oh, the stuff was glorious: unctuous, buttery, rich. Every afternoon of my trip, I slathered it on scones snatched from tiered silver trays in hushed hotel tearooms.
And, like most of those smitten with a new love, I didn't bother to ask for details. I vaguely assumed it was heavy cream, whipped almost into butter but stopped just short of that transformation.
Returning home to the United States, I pined for clotted cream. It wasn't to be found at even the swankiest hotel tea services, where whipped cream was foisted on me instead. That started the questions: What, actually, is this rich, golden goo? How is it made? And why are the Brits keeping it all for themselves?
As it says in the sub-headline: "A search for the best clotted cream is the perfect excuse to explore the English countryside." The rest of the high-calorie expedition can be read online.
Photo By R. Paul Herman, courtesy of The Washington Post