29th June – 12 July 2015 marks Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships which takes place in South West London and with continued tradition, our favourite summer fruit dish of British strawberries and cream will also be served.
Spectators consume 28,000 kilos (61,730 pounds) of English strawberries - 2,000 kilos (4,409 pounds) per day, and 7,000 litres (7,397 quarts) of fresh cream. And these aren't just any strawberries. They're Grade 1 English strawberries from registered farms in Kent.
They're picked the day before being served, arrive at Wimbledon at 5:30 a.m. and are inspected individually before being hulled.
How did the fruit become synonymous with the world's premier tennis competition?
King George V introduced strawberries and cream to courtside crowds. But the tradition actually dates from around the time of the first Wimbledon tournament in 1877, according to Audrey Snell, a librarian at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum. Strawberries and tennis, she said, both signalled the arrival of summer.
"Strawberries were normally available only at that time of year," said Ms. Snell. "When the championships started in the late 1800's, it was a fashionable thing to eat. The appearance of strawberries just happened to coincide with the event."
The official Wimbledon strawberry is the Elsanta variety, grown at farms in Kent.
Did you know...
Strawberries are not actually fruits as their seeds are on the outside. Strawberry plants are runners and are not produced by seeds. They have an average of 200 seeds per fruit and are actually a member of the rose (rosaceae) family.
Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamins C and K fibre, folic acid, manganese and potassium. The red colour of strawberries is due to large amounts of anthocyanidin, which also means they contain antioxidants and are thought to protect against inflammation, cancer and heart disease.