Did you know afternoon tea was invented to curb hunger? In England during the mid-19th Century, Anna, the Seventh Duchess of Bedford, found herself a little peckish in the late afternoon. With lunch served early in the day and dinner not expected until the fashionably late hour of 9 p.m., she rang for a tray of snacks to quash her cravings. The ritual became a habit and the rest is history.

Not to be confused with high tea, which, as Calgary’s etiquette coach Ms. Modern Manners explains, is a hearty supper served between 5 and 7 p.m., afternoon tea is a selection of finger foods served between 2 and 4 p.m.. “Unless you’re serving cake, you usually don’t need forks at afternoon tea,” says Ms. Modern Manners. “Moving from savoury to sweet, you start with small sandwiches on the bottom of a three-tiered stand, then scones, jam and clotted cream in the middle, finishing
with bite-size sweets on top.” To learn more about the art of etiquette, follow @msmodernmanners on Instagram.

Calgary offers some tea-rific options to help us enjoy this ritual at home.

Preserved Foods Boutique

We stumbled across a unique jam from Preserved Foods Boutique that pairs well with scones: Carrot Cake Jam. Made with “Cam’s Carrots,” grown just outside of Strathmore and distributed by Poplar Bluff Organics, this jam is full of all the winter spices we associate with carrot cake. “We like to show off our local farmers’ hard work by turning their produce into elevated, but approachable, preserves,” says owner, Vanessa Rundell.

Consider pairing this jam with the drop scones or jam tarts from the Alice Eats Cookbook by Pierre Lamielle and Julie Van Rosendaal, available at The Cookbook Co. Cooks. Preserved Foods jams are available online and at various retailers around town. See the website for a full list.

Carrot Cake Jam | Preserved Foods Boutique | $8.75 | preservedyyc.com