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Written by ripelondondev on June 28, 2024

The History Of Strawberries And Cream At Wimbledon

Fresh strawberries and cream at Wimbledon have become a staple. These two are destined to be together for as long as this tennis tournament continues. Strawberries served with rich heavy cream have become the traditional snack of summer tennis and an integral part of the entire tournament.

Let's face it, if we don't see people eating strawberries and cream in their finery as the tennis players sweat and moan, Wimbledon just wouldn't be the same. But how did strawberries and cream become the traditional food to enjoy while watching tennis? Well, the answer may surprise you. And, in fact, strawberries and cream's connection to tennis goes back a lot further than you may think!

Game, Set and Match - Fresh Cream and Strawberries At Wimbledon - A History

The tradition of serving strawberries and cream at Wimbledon dates back to when the tournament began in the 1870s. While the exact date isn't known, we do know that it was adopted very early on. At the time, strawberries were in season for a few weeks in the summer months, and these weeks happened to coincide with the tennis tournament.

This was a time before refrigeration, so strawberries didn't last too long, making them a real luxury. So, eating them in public was a sign of true prosperity. Considering that the Wimbledon tournament was reserved for the upper classes in those days, it's no surprise that these delicious berries quickly became the traditional way of enjoying a few matches of tennis.

Strawberry Consumption at the Wimbledon Tournament

Wimbledon and strawberries have an incredible connection. When we watch tennis on TV, there seems to be strawberries and cream in almost every spectator's hand. Well, that might be because each year an estimated 28,000 kilos of fresh strawberries are devoured by spectators at the All England Club. When it comes to cream, a cool 10,000 litres of the stuff is enjoyed at the tournament each year! So, clearly supplying strawberries and cream to Wimbledon is a big undertaking..

Oh, and that number doesn't even take into account the strawberries and cream that we consume at home - that's just at the tennis tournament itself!

In the UK, it's estimated that we eat 168,000 tonnes of strawberries a year. In 2020-2021, there were 828 million consumption occasions of cream in the UK! Sadly, we can't find an exact figure for enjoying them both together, but I think we can safely say that we eat a lot of strawberries and cream in the UK! And with the invention of vegan cream options now, this number is likely set to rise.

Sugar being poured over strawberry that is sat in sugar on a spoon. This is to represent the amount of sugar in fruit

Enjoy fresh strawberries and cream from Ripe!

The popularity of strawberries has never been a secret, but in some cases, the urge to enjoy the taste of this beautiful fruit has gotten a little out of hand. King George I was a massive fan of strawberries. In fact, he ate so many that people believe it may have contributed to his death!

Strawberries and Cream History With Tennis

Strawberries have long been considered a tasty treat, but for many hundreds of years, they were reserved for the upper classes. This is in large part due to how small the seasonal window for strawberries is. As we mentioned above, strawberries were only in season for a few weeks of the year and they weren't the easiest fruit to grow. This meant that they were rare, and as a result, expensive.

One of the earliest mentions of strawberries and cream in England sheds light on just how much of an elegant combination they were. Thomas Wolsey introduced the nation to this beautifully delicious combination at a lavish banquet in 1509. Thomas, by the way, was the right-hand man of King Henry VIII! It was then served to the spectators of tennis matches at a court in Thomas' Palace, and the perfect snack (and its connection to tennis) was born.

A Quick Strawberries and Cream Recipe

Strawberries and cream are one of our favourite things because of how easy they are to make. Here’s a simple recipe for you to enjoy:

Ingredients

  • 450g fresh strawberries 
  • 230ml heavy cream or double cream (for a vegan option use coconut cream)
  • 1.5 tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar
  • Half a teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions

  • Remove the greens from the strawberries, cut them in half and add them to your bowl.
  • At this stage, you could simply pour over the cream and enjoy. However, if you’d like to make it really fancy, read on. 
  • Add your heavy cream to another bowl with the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract. The sugar is optional and isn’t done at Wimbledon, but does add a rich and sweet flavour. Give this all a whisk until it's thick and creamy.

Serving options

You can add the cream directly to the bowl of strawberries and get stuck in. Or, you can serve the cream on the side and dip your strawberries into it. Whichever way you do it, you’ll love this strawberries and cream recipe!

Some people love to sprinkle some sugar on top for even more sweetness, while others prefer to replace the cream with milk to make this treat a little healthier. However you enjoy yours, this wonderful treat is so simple to make and even better to eat!

In conclusion

We eat a lot of strawberries and cream throughout Wimbledon, and it appears that we always have! Whether you're going to the Wimbledon tournament this July or not, grab yourself some strawberries and cream from Ripe London and savour the flavour of one of the most popular combinations to ever exist!

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