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That’s Her Jam: Queen Elizabeth II’s Favourite Tea-Time Sandwich is Surprisingly Simple

Queen Elizabeth the II smiling in a blue dress
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Most of us have go-to snacks or meals that we just can’t get enough of, but — at least according to her former private chef — Queen Elizabeth II has, apparently, been dedicated to her favourite tea-time jam sandwiches for more than 90 years. 

As reported in CTV News, chef Darren McGrady (who says that he was a chef to the Queen for 11 years) posted a video to his YouTube channel last summer titled “Afternoon Tea At Buckingham Palace (In The Queen’s Garden – Or Yours!).” In the video, McGrady offers some insight into the monarch’s preferred afternoon sandwiches while demonstrating the recipe (which is basically just buttering two slices of white bread, adding jam, sandwiching the bread slices together and then cutting out round shapes using a cookie cutter).

“The Queen was served jam pennies in the nursery as a little girl. She’s had them for afternoon tea ever since,” he says. “Simple: just bread and jam with a little butter.”

Why are the sandwiches called “pennies”? It’s all about their shape: the round cutouts resemble the size and shape of an old British penny.

You may also like: This is where Prince Harry says he knew Meghan Markle was his ‘soulmate.’

a hand spreads red jam on a piece of bread

What kind of jam are the sandwiches filled with? “Usually strawberry jam,” McGrady says, noting that they made the strawberry jam from fresh strawberries from the gardens at Balmoral Castle.

While the Palace has not commented on the Queen’s snacking preferences, strawberry jam sandwich bites sound pretty good to us for an afternoon tea — though we also love to capture the flavour of fresh strawberries in a more decadent dessert, like this strawberry shortcake.

See also: Mattel is launching a Queen Elizabeth II Barbie to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee.


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