Thunder and Lightning

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

thunder and lightning a dramatically named sweet item, which has evidently taken various forms, all involving a contrast of dark and light. Fernie (1905) has much plausible detail built into his description:

About Devon, and Cornwall, Clotted Cream is eaten with every practical form of sweet thing, from stewed fruit to Christmas pudding, treacle and Cream being an approved combination. This is colloquially known as ‘thunder and lightning;’ and orthodox lovers, out for the day, order it with their tea, in Fuschia-covered cottages; then the correct and mystic practice is to smother a ‘split cake’ (a sort of small Sally Lunn) with some of the thick Cream, and to trace on its surface, in casual letters formed by the golden syrup, trickling from a spoon, the beloved one’s name, or its initial letters.