The Wimbledon Tradition – Strawberries & Cream is a true experience of the Brit summer along with the game of tennis.Strawberries are at their seasonal peak in early to mid-July, when Wimbledon takes place. Originally done as per necessity, they are now consumed en masse by the crowds that gather each year to watch the sport. 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.
More than 7,000 litres of fresh cream is consumed during the course of the tournament, in addition to 28,000 kg of strawberries. The strawberries arrive fresh each morning, and are thoroughly inspected before being served. Unlike most tournaments, when Wimbledon officials tell you it’s fresh, they mean it. The sweet flavour 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.
“You haven’t experienced true British summer until you’ve attended Wimbledon—and sampled a bowl of strawberries and cream.”
There are other foods too which are popular at the Wimbledon; the revellers drink up to 330,000 cups of tea and coffee over the course of the tournament, as well as eating their way through 30,000 pizzas and 25,000 scones – according to the official Wimbledon site.
29,000 bottles of champagne are consumed, as are a whopping 16,000 portions of fish and chips.
But the winning combination always has been the Strawberry & Cream….
A simple recipe of this age old tradition is as follows:
Strawberries and Cream Dessert:
3 cups strawberries
2 cups cold heavy cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. confectioners sugar
Fresh mint leaves
Wash and dry the strawberries and remove the leaves. Remove stems and halve lengthwise.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Add vanilla and sugar and continue to whip until cream reaches stiff peaks. Be careful not to overdo the whipping, or the cream will become lumpy and butter-like.
Dollop a scoop of whipped cream in the bottom of a serving bowl or cup. Add a handful of strawberries, then top with more whipped cream and garnish with a mint leaf.