Eatin' Good at Wimbledon
Put on your Wimbledon whites but maybe grab a bib? Because strawberries & cream is on the menu during this famous Grand Slam this summer.
Wimbledon’s Delectable Strawberries & Cream Tradition
For those of you unfamiliar with the Championships at Wimbledon, the tournament is one of professional tennis’ four Grand Slams and has been played at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London since 1877. One of my favorite things about Wimbledon is all the wonderful, rich traditions that make going to the tournament so much more than spectating. And as a lover of food, it likely comes as no surprise that my favorite tradition at Wimbledon is that of strawberries and cream.
Vendors at Wimbledon have been serving up strawberries and cream ever since the tournament’s earliest days. These yummy berries and cream are consumed like hot dogs or nachos at American stadiums and arenas — and they are consumed in mass quantities. According to Facilities Management Catering Limited, the catering company responsible for all food and drink operations at the All England Club, tournament-goers enjoy approximately 28,000 kilos (more than 60,000 lbs) of English strawberries topped with 7,000 liters (more than 1,800 gallons) of cream during the fortnight in which Wimbledon is played.
So why strawberries and cream? Excellent question. According to the All England Club's head of PR, "It was probably two things -- strawberries were in season at the time the tournament was played, and in Victorian England they had become a fashionable thing to eat," And the tradition carries on! A dish that was once part of a fashionable afternoon tea ritual is now a much-celebrated game day tradition at Wimbledon over one hundred years later.
Wimbledon Nosh by the Numbers
Interestingly (Hungry and Conscious Fans rejoice!), the strawberries served at Wimbledon are of the Elsanta variety and come from Kentish LEAF-registered farms, an organization devoted to sustainable and environmentally-conscious farming. The berries are always picked fresh, the day before they arrive at the All England Club, and are inspected and destemmed at the Club. (Read as: they are very, very expensive).
As implied by its name, strawberries and cream isn’t the healthiest dish. For those of you concerned about consuming large quantities of cream or if you are just a more conscious eater, I’ve got a tip for you!
If you’re making strawberries and cream at home, replace the cream with lowfat Greek yogurt and whip it with a little agave syrup. Add in some fresh, organic strawberries and voila! You’ve got yourself a healthier, light summer treat!