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WIMBLEDON AND STRAWBERRIES: A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

WIMBLEDON AND STRAWBERRIES: A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

WHAT DO STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM HAVE TO DO WITH TENNIS?

In all of tennis, no name gets more recognition than Wimbledon. It’s the iconic location, the place where the first tournaments were held, and still the most recognized of all the Grand Slam events. Sure, the US Open, Australian Open, and Roland Garros all have their own thrill, but nothing beats sitting under the British sun and watching two players go toe to toe in search of fame and glory on the court. 

However, the ultimate Wimbledon tradition among fans has less to do with the game and more to do with the taste buds: strawberries and cream. Strawberries and cream is a customary Wimbledon season treats that event goers have been eating for a long time. In fact, this dish predicates tennis by a couple of centuries. This treat has been consumed at Wimbledon since 1542, based on what an Englishman noted in his journal. Originally consumed by royalty, the tasty favorite has spread to the crowd in general, and is as much a part of the tournament as tennis. 

The growing season for strawberries is at its peak during the Wimbledon tournament, so it’s no surprise that strawberries are eaten then. More than 7,000 liters of fresh cream is consumed during the course of the tournament, in addition to 28,000 kg of strawberries. The Grade 1 English strawberries of the highest quality from Kent arrive fresh each morning, and are thoroughly inspected before being served. The standard servings at Wimbledon are no less than 10 berries plus the cream that goes along with it. This collection is called a punnet, and there are more than 8,600 punnets eaten per day – when you consider the tournament lasts for around two weeks, that’s a lot of strawberries eaten. The sweet flavor of the cream combined with the slightly tart taste of strawberries is the perfect combination, often washed down with champagne or a pint of your favourite ale or pimms.

 


NoTHING SAYS SUMMER LIKE STRAWBERRIES

An easy, fast and delicious recipe...

Ingredients

4 handfuls wild  strawberries  

1 tablespoon caster    sugar    

1 vanilla pod , scored   lengthways and seeds   scraped out

1 splash sherry vinegar       

1 pot crème fraîche

a few small fresh               mint leaves

1 orange , zest of     

      Method

      1. Nothing says summer like strawberries and cream – the vanilla cream recipe is a sweet little touch.

    2. Pick out the nicest strawberries and set aside. Put the rest in a bowl and add the sugar, half the vanilla seeds and     the  vinegar. Squash together with the back of a fork and leave to macerate for 10–15 minutes.

    3. Stir the rest of the vanilla seeds into the crème fraîche. To serve, spoon a little vanilla cream in the centre of each bowl, make a well in the middle and spoon in some mushed strawberries. Halve some of the reserved strawberries and sprinkle the lot over the vanilla cream. Scatter over the mint leaves and orange zest then serve.

 

 


STRAWBERRY FACTS

  • As little powerhouses of vitamin C, you’ll get more of this cold-defending vitamin from eight strawberries than an orange.
  • Their red color comes from their high flavonoid content which maintain good artery health and help reduce cholesterol levels.
  • They are full of cancer fighting ellagic acid.
  • Their acid content helps to remove teeth stains - another reason for strawberry smiles!
  • They are fat free and low in calories - 50 calories in 100g!
And for fun…
  • Latin name is Fragaria Ananassa
  • The strawberries served up at Wimbledon come from Kent and are of the Elsanta variety. They are picked the day before they are delivered at 5.30am every morning.
  • English old spellings are “streowberie” and “streawbelige”. Apparently, their name came about because they were kept on straw to keep them fresh.
  • They each contain about 200 seeds.
  • They are part of the rose family.
  • The Romans used wild strawberries to cure illness and diseases.