General chatter - Please tell me! What time is TEA, exactly?




MissKoo
08-15-2010, 10:33 PM
Any Brits, Aussies, Kiwis or smarty-pants Americans or Canadians. . .

What time is "tea" time? Is it dinner? Is it a real meal or a snack?

I don't mean "high tea", just "hey, what's for tea?"

I Googled it but I really want a REAL PERSON to answer my question (or a real CHICK!)

Thanks y'all!


Clydegirl
08-15-2010, 11:28 PM
Tea time is your evening meal.

We always had tea at 5pm.

I'm born and bred in Scotland.

Ciao
08-16-2010, 05:15 AM
or smarty-pants Americans or Canadians. . .

:rofl:


Fressca
08-16-2010, 12:35 PM
Tea time is your evening meal.

We always had tea at 5pm.

I'm born and bred in Scotland.

^^ Agree. Raised in Scotland here, we always had tea around 6 pm.

ETA: And now I'm a smarty-pants Canadian!! :D

Coondocks
08-16-2010, 01:28 PM
^^ Agree. Raised in Scotland here, we always had tea around 6 pm.

ETA: And now I'm a smarty-pants Canadian!! :D

I have cousins that were born and raised in the UK and it's always 'tea' set for 6 when we have dinner there.

They are now smarty-pants Canadians too . . . I've just always been a smart a** Canadian :p

Fressca
08-16-2010, 04:50 PM
. . . I've just always been a smart a** Canadian :p

:D

tea2
08-16-2010, 05:04 PM
These answers from real people are much more fun! My English aunt used to have what we call supper around 5 or so too. (I'm also a smart-ish-***) Canadian!) :D

EmilyMartis
08-16-2010, 05:17 PM
Wait a minute... so 'tea' is the same as supper/dinner/evening meal?
I always imagined it as a formal snacky-type event.

Huh.

Fressca
08-16-2010, 05:23 PM
Wait a minute... so 'tea' is the same as supper/dinner/evening meal?
I always imagined it as a formal snacky-type event.

Huh.

Yes, tea is supper. The formal snacky-type event is "afternoon tea", the kind with an assortment of tiny, crustless sandwiches and yummy baked things, like scones with jam and clotted cream.

MonteCristo
08-18-2010, 12:47 PM
Smarty-pants American here....I think tea is around 5-6.

ANOther
08-19-2010, 01:02 PM
fressca's right. Americans tend to use "high tea" as if it meant "afternoon tea", i.e., a formal tea party, but in British usage "high tea" = "supper around 5 pm" and is more of a working-class term. "Dinner" is what the upper classes have at 8

sarahyu
08-19-2010, 02:48 PM
fressca's right. Americans tend to use "high tea" as if it meant "afternoon tea", i.e., a formal tea party, but in British usage "high tea" = "supper around 5 pm" and is more of a working-class term. "Dinner" is what the upper classes have at 8

So...you have breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner? Wow, 4 fully authorized times to eat? Cool! So is tea time just tea or is it food too? Do average people do tea time?

Sorry, just curious. I always thought it was the fancy-dancy crustless sandwiches and tiny pretty cookies. or what little girls do when they dress up all their stuffed animals and play tea party.

silverbirch
08-19-2010, 03:12 PM
Oh, MissKoo, you have asked a highly charged, technical question! There are class differences at work, and regional ones and also age ones

I'm 54, from the SW of England and have tea about 6. It's the main meal of my day. When I was growing up, my dinner (midday meal) was our family's main meal.

My partner, 43, from the NE of England (steel town) calls this 6 pm meal 'dinner'.

My upper middle class friends, 53, from the SE of England call this meal 'supper'.

You've had info from Scotland above.

Afternoon tea is the scones, sandwiches, cake and tea (drink) event which happens rarely now, in my experience, but is fun when it does.

I have never heard anyone use the term 'high tea' except N Americans. But I did read it in books set in Northern England when I was a child. I got the impression it involved drop scones (griddle cakes), jam, ham, fruit cake and a lot of other yummy things. We used to have this kind of 'tea' when I was a child but it was never 'high'. Someone may be able to shed more light.

For tea tonight (just finished), my mother, son and partner all had fish and chips from the chippy. Most unusual for us but it's been an odd day. I had raw baby spinach, tomatoes, a tin of mackerel and a few cubes of feta. But we're at Mum's where we still have the main meal in the middle of the day. .

Great question! :)

katylil
08-20-2010, 10:36 AM
Oh, MissKoo, you have asked a highly charged, technical question! There are class differences at work, and regional ones and also age ones

I'm 54, from the SW of England and have tea about 6. It's the main meal of my day. When I was growing up, my dinner (midday meal) was our family's main meal.

My partner, 43, from the NE of England (steel town) calls this 6 pm meal 'dinner'.

My upper middle class friends, 53, from the SE of England call this meal 'supper'.

You've had info from Scotland above.

Afternoon tea is the scones, sandwiches, cake and tea (drink) event which happens rarely now, in my experience, but is fun when it does.

I have never heard anyone use the term 'high tea' except N Americans. But I did read it in books set in Northern England when I was a child. I got the impression it involved drop scones (griddle cakes), jam, ham, fruit cake and a lot of other yummy things. We used to have this kind of 'tea' when I was a child but it was never 'high'. Someone may be able to shed more light.

For tea tonight (just finished), my mother, son and partner all had fish and chips from the chippy. Most unusual for us but it's been an odd day. I had raw baby spinach, tomatoes, a tin of mackerel and a few cubes of feta. But we're at Mum's where we still have the main meal in the middle of the day. .

Great question! :)

I'm at uni in England. We have this discussion A LOT.

My Northern friends (Northern England) call their evening meal (about 6pm-ish) TEA.

My Southern friends (Southern England) call this meal dinner (I do too!)

My posh aunt and uncle call this meal supper.

Afternoon tea is, as Silverbirch says, eaten mid-afternoon about 4pm and includes cakes, biscuits, scones, mini-sandwiches and (duh) TEA. Not many people do this anymore. It's a very cliche English thing that tourists like to do, but actually has little relevance to most actual English peoples lives. A bit like Full English Breakfasts.

It's kind of complicated I think!! Haha

sarahyu
08-20-2010, 01:15 PM
A bit like Full English Breakfasts

Ummm....what's a Full English Breakfast? Well, I guess I could google it but you guys have such better explanations.

silverbirch
08-20-2010, 01:57 PM
Supper, of course is not only what upper-middle class people call tea BUT is also what I give my 10 y o son before bedtime. Glass of milk and a piece of bread and butter. Bowl of porage with honey. Scone and jam. That kind of thing.

Right. Full English. I am writing this from a B&B (bed and breakfast overnight accommodation) so am fully up to speed as I've just been asked if I want one in the morning.

It's generally fried. It can include bacon, fried egg (or scrambled), sausage, tomato, fried bread. Also black pudding, white pudding. Some people have baked beans too (yuck). And I have heard of hash browns (I don't know what they are but you probably do)!

I'm having a half English (never heard of this before but a full is always too much for me).

Start with cereal or porage. Then full English (NB substitute country you're in - Welsh, Scottish, Irish, possibly Cornish). Toast and jam. Tea or coffee.

Drop scones, too, perhaps.

Roll out. Stagger through the rest of your day.

katylil
08-21-2010, 10:16 AM
Hahaha excellent description there Silverbirch!!!

PS. Hash browns are...hmm. Imagine a chicken nugget. Except made of potato, not chicken. Something like that. If cooked properly (they have to be crunchy!) they're lovely. Especially in a sandwich with lots of ketchup. Yum.

(This is why I gained 9 pounds in my first year at uni...hash brown sandwiches were too readily available!!!!!)

silverbirch
08-21-2010, 01:27 PM
Thanks, katylil!

I forgot the mushrooms. I forgot the fried potato. And I forgot the marmalade!

I am eating lightly for the rest of the day ...

Latchkey Princess
08-22-2010, 03:58 AM
Is a full English breakfast also referred to as a fry up? I've heard that term, and it seemed like the people were talking about the same things as you described for the full English, silverbirch.

And tho it's a bit off the subject of tea (a term which I always found enchanting and fancy as a little girl), has anyone else ever had breakfast, dinner and supper? My granny does that (I'm American btw), breakfast, then the main meal of the day at around noon (and, oh lord, it's always something like chicken fried steak with giblet gravy and mashed taters, green beans with bacon fat, etc.), and then a small meal of sandwiches and soup or something like it for supper. Growing up I always thought it was weird that she never had "lunch".

frazzeled
08-22-2010, 10:41 AM
I live in Cheshire UK. We eat Breakfast, Dinner, Tea, and Supper. Dinner is lunch in the US. Tea is Dinner in the US and Supper is a late night snack.

High tea is what the Queen or the upper class takes around 4pm. Its a big pot of tea with cucumber sandwiches.

Tea is when ever you eat your evening meal. We have no set time... life is to busy. It can be anywhere in our house from 4pm to 9 pm depending on the day.

Full Engllish... Fried eggs, bacon (more like canadian ham in the US) black pudding (a sausage made from pigs blood) sometimes a hash brown but that isnt traditional, beans and toast with grilled mushrooms and tomatoes.

sarahyu
08-23-2010, 11:54 AM
So black pudding is still popular? It just sounds kind of not pleasant to eat.

I always thought it was a dish of necessity when people lived on a farm and had to use every part of the animal and the poor.

silverbirch
08-23-2010, 04:10 PM
It's good. You could categorise it as a type of sausage. And people always like them.

White pudding aka chitterlings aka andouillette (I think) you don't see so much. Eaten by my Dad during the Second World War (as chitterlins). Eaten in France. Still eaten in the US?

KforKitty
08-24-2010, 11:08 AM
I'm from a traditional, northern, working class family and when I was growing up in the 60s/70s we ate breakfast, dinner and tea with the main meal of the day being eaten around noon (and hence provided by schools) during the week. Tea was what you had when you got home from school and was normally a lighter affair often soup, salad or sandwiches. Nowadays my kids refer to the meal in the middle of the day as lunch and will ask when they get home from School 'what's for dinner?' but DH and I still refer to our evening meal as tea despite this being our main meal of the day.

Just to confuse matters further, I do usually have a drink of tea mid-afternoon (3-4pm) which I make in the proper fashion in a teapot, but no longer accompany this with cakes/biscuits as I used to!

Kitty

L R K
08-24-2010, 11:14 AM
TEA is your dinner :)

silverbirch
08-24-2010, 11:38 AM
Kitty - you and I speak the same language. I have even just put the kettle on.

Maybe it's also an age thing - sounds as though we're about the same age. In my case, 1955 was a brilliant year.

I can't tell you what a relief it is to read your post. :)

ANOther
08-24-2010, 12:52 PM
It's good. You could categorise it as a type of sausage. And people always like them.

White pudding aka chitterlings aka andouillette (I think) you don't see so much. Eaten by my Dad during the Second World War (as chitterlins). Eaten in France. Still eaten in the US?

Maybe traditional white pudding uses intestines as a casing, but AFAIK (I'm white, and chit'lin's in the US is most strongly associated with soul food, i.e. African-American cuisine) chit'lin's in the US are not stuffed; they're just the intestines. Am I right, black chicks?

Fressca
08-25-2010, 12:09 PM
It's generally fried. It can include bacon, fried egg (or scrambled), sausage, tomato, fried bread. Also black pudding, white pudding. Some people have baked beans too (yuck). And I have heard of hash browns (I don't know what they are but you probably do)!

I'm having a half English (never heard of this before but a full is always too much for me).

Start with cereal or porage. Then full English (NB substitute country you're in - Welsh, Scottish, Irish, possibly Cornish). Toast and jam. Tea or coffee.

Drop scones, too, perhaps.

Roll out. Stagger through the rest of your day.

^^ Sounds so good - and brings back so many memories. I haven't had fried bread for about 30 years!! Before I tried it, it sounded gross... after I tasted it, I was in love. :smug:

ETA: White pudding in Scotland is suet, oatmeal, onions and spices in a sausage skin...

refinnej
08-25-2010, 12:49 PM
I live in Oxford. Here we lunch at 1, have tea (usually featuring cake, not savouries) at 4 and dine at 7:15, 7:30 on Sundays.