<p>A photo like this would pose no problems in Devon. In Cornwall, on the other hand...</p>

A photo like this would pose no problems in Devon. In Cornwall, on the other hand...

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What could be more quaint than an afternoon tea of scones piled high with clotted cream and jam?

Quite a lot, actually, if you live in Cornwall and the chronology of spreads is gospel.

Anyone who lives along England’s southwest coast will tell you that the Cornish put jam before the cream on their scones, while in Devon they do it the other way round.

This is non-negotiable: it’s set in stone (or scone).

Yet, somehow Sainsbury’s supermarket managed to miss that memo. It is now having to apologise for displaying an advert in one of its stores promoting the wrong sort of tea.

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The picture, at a branch in Truro, Cornwall, showed a fruit scone laden with clotted cream followed by jam on top.

Even the type of scone depicted was a no-no – purists will tell you that it should have starred a plain Cornish split, not a raisin-scattered variant.

The Cornish always go for jam before cream

The travesty has led some customers to threaten to boycott the Truro store, while others have lodged formal complaints with the national chain.

Andreas Drosiadis, 48, who runs a deli in Truro and took a snap of the offending display, shared his photo on Facebook, asking: “How did this happen?”

He told Cornwall Live: “England is a country with strong local traditions that shape our everyday life. Sainsbury’s should have known better.”

Andreas Drosiadis posted a photo of the contentious cream tea

Using its platform to highlight the controversy, the news site then tweeted: “Sainsbury’s what’s this? A fruit scone! With the cream on first! Advertised in a Cornish store. The cheek of it! Do you think this is acceptable?”

Sainsbury swiftly replied from its official Twitter account: “An imposter!” adding that it would “have a word” with the store about the “blasphemy”.

It later added: “That’ll never do at all Truro! I’ve logged some feedback to the manager of the store to ensure they are made aware of this imposter and repair it accordingly.”

Meanwhile, the Devon Live website defended its tradition, saying: “Show some backbone Sainsbury’s — we need to educate people about how a cream tea should be constructed.”

The age-old debate rages on.

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