Definition of High Tea: "High tea (also known as meat tea) is an early evening meal, typically eaten between 5pm and 6pm in the evening. It would be eaten as a substitute for both afternoon tea and the evening meal. It is now largely replaced by a later evening meal."
High Tea Consists of:
"High Tea usually consist of cold meats, eggs and/or fish, cakes and sandwiches." "In a family, it tends to be less formal and is an informal snack (featuring sandwiches, biscuits, pastry, fruit and the like) or else it is the main evening meal."
"On farms or other working class environments, "high tea" would be the traditional, substantial meal eaten by the workers immediately after nightfall, and would combine afternoon tea with the main evening meal." See also The UK Tea Council Definition."
"In recent years, high tea has become a term for elaborate afternoon tea, though this is American usage and mainly unrecognised in Britain." "Such usage is disfavored by etiquette advisors, such as Miss Manners" (see below).
Main evening meal
The main evening meal is often referred to as "tea". Some people use "supper", especially if the meal is eaten later." "Other people use "dinner", which is also sometimes used to describe a midday meal, or the more substantial of the midday or evening meal."
"In Ireland "to have your tea" can mean either the main evening meal or a meal afterwards like supper, although tea would mostly follow a dinner meal and would usually take place between 6pm and 9pm." "It is regularly regarded as an English term."
The term "high tea" in the United States
"The term "high tea" is sometimes used in the United States to refer to afternoon tea or the "tea party", a very formal, ritualised gathering in which tea, thin sandwiches and little cakes are served on the best china." "This usage is an analogical construction, the term "high" being associated with social "formalilty" (rather than a "high", or main, table)." "Most etiquette mavens advise that such usage is unorthodox outside commercial contexts (see below); (etiquette authority Judith Martin's tongue-in-cheek interpretation is, "It's high time we had something to eat.")
English Cuisine High Tea
It is believed by some that the English "drop everything" for a Teatime meal in the mid-afternoon. This is no longer the case in the workplace, and is rarer in the home than it once was. A formal teatime meal is now often an accompaniment to tourism, particularly in Devon and neighbouring counties, where comestibles may include scones with jam and butter or clotted cream. There are also butterfly cakes, simple small sponge cakes which can be iced or eaten plain. Nationwide, assorted biscuits and sandwiches are eaten. Generally, however, the teatime meal has been replaced by snacking, or simply ignored. Tea itself, usually served with milk, is consumed throughout the day and is sometimes drunk with meals. In recent years herbal teas and speciality teas have also become popular. Coffee is perhaps a little less common than in continental Europe, but is still drunk by many in both its instant and percolated forms, often with milk (but rarely with cream). Italian coffee preparations such as espresso and cappuccino and modern American variants such as the frappuccino are increasingly popular, but generally purchased in restaurants or from specialist coffee shops rather than made in the home. Sugar is often added to individual cups of tea or coffee, though never to the pot.
For much of the 20th century Britain had a system whereby milk was delivered to the doorstep in reusable glass bottles in the mornings, usually by special vehicles called "milk floats". This service continues in some areas, though it has increasingly been replaced by supermarket shopping. Many Britons consider their milk superior to the heat-treated variety found in some other countries.
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