Food & Drink

Mathematician solves scone debate

Cream first. This, in brevity, is the answer to the long standing debate on how to make the perfect cream tea. Huzzah.

The answer comes courtesy of Dr Eugenia Cheng, a mathematician from the University of Sheffield renowned for exemplifying complicated mathematics with food.

Based on a scone-to-cream-to-jam ratio of 2:1:1 (by weight), Dr Cheng produced the following beautifully impractical formulae for calculating the perfect thickness of cream and jam to be added to your scone. (R is radius, in cm)

Other points of wisdom from the study include:

- Clotted cream should be used rather than whipped, as whipped takes up excessive volume

- Total thickness of a fully laden scone should not exceed 2.8cm, allowing for relaxed open mouth consumption

- Jam, due to its density, should be added after the clotted cream

In the interests of scientific accuracy, we can only recommend you put Dr Cheng’s findings to a peer review test, given that the study was commissioned by Rodda’s Cornish Clotted Cream – a party clearly biased in the promotion of its wares.

Dr Cheng was unable to provide a conclusion to the other long running scone debate: scone, as in gone, or scone, as in stone.

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