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Wimbledon: serving up more than just aces

Wimbledon: serving up more than just aces

by Great British Chefs 29 June 2017

Think of Wimbledon and it’s not just tennis that springs to mind – one of the most beloved traditions of Wimbledon is, of course, strawberries and cream. Here are just a few stats and facts about the tournament's love affair with this very British berry.

Did you know?

28,000 kilos of strawberries and 7,000 litres of cream are supplied over the fortnight.

Strawberries and cream has been the treat to beat since the first ever Wimbledon in 1877.

The Wimbledon strawberries are all provided by one supplier – Hugh Lowe Farm in Kent, run by Marion Regan. During the two weeks of the competition, the pickers rally round with a 5am start to make sure the award-winning strawberries are picked and ready to go.

The strawberries are tested for sweetness and size. Bite-sized strawberries are selected to keep everyone looking their mess-free best.

Bananas are the second most popular fruit at the tournament, providing an energy boost to flagging fans.

Service!

With an array of restaurants and cafés, there are many more food options available if all the strawberry love leaves you at a zero. Wimbledon’s venerated Britishness runs through the rest of the offerings, and cravings for fish and chips abound with 30,000 portions served during the two weeks. There are also 200,000 glasses of Pimm's sold. The Wimbledon signature sausage, known as the Dutchee, is a spicy take on the hot dog and a whopping 60,000 are sold each year.

Special guests can take advantage of the exclusive restaurants only available to selected visitors, including The Courtside, a fine dining establishment. Past tournaments have seen top chefs such as Tom Aikens, Martin Wishart, Bryn Williams and Albert Roux in the kitchen. From top quality dining to picnics on Murray Mound, Wimbledon offers the best in idyllic British summer food.

First round

Over in the United States they have their own Wimbledon food traditions. Due to the time difference, US viewers tend to watch Wimbledon over breakfast. In fact, their televised Wimbledon coverage even contains a section called ‘Breakfast at Wimbledon'. Shaun Hill’s Smoked salmon with chard and dill pancakes is the perfect recipe to cook if you want to join in this tradition at home. Those lucky enough to attend Wimbledon in person can sample the various preparations of salmon supplied by several British producers and smokehouses, such as the Severn and Wye Smokery located just outside the Forest of Dean, which uses traditional techniques to produce its distinctive smoked fish.

Game, set and match

But while the tennis players always face stiff competition, strawberries and cream remains the eternal favourite for the silver trophy.

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