The History of the Iconic Strawberries and Cream Combination

Fresh strawberries and cream is an iconic and well-loved British dish, especially famous for being served up at Wimbledon. Each year at Wimbledon an absolutely mind blowing amount of strawberries and cream are consumed, averaging at just over 20 tonnes of strawberries and around 7,000 litres of cream. It’s hard not to adore this refreshing, sweet summer pudding, especially if you have the pleasure of being at Wimbledon. But have you ever wondered just where this dish originated from and why people eat it at the championship?
There are many many myths and stories surrounding this iconic dish, its roots and its link to Wimbledon but if you were to do a little research you would see the name “Thomas Wolsey” pop up a number of times. Thomas Wolsey was around during the Tudor era and was very close to King Henry VIII. Now before we get to the strawberries and cream, it’s worth mentioning that in 1514 Mr.Wolsey began building a great riverside des res, known today as Hampton Court. The kitchens within Hampton Court were one of the largest in England at the time and were responsible for serving food for up to 600 guests twice a day. Now it’s clear to see why the cooks were obviously eager to create quick desserts, which is where the great British strawberries appear. However, strawberries had been around many years prior but it was during this Tudor era at Hampton Court, someone had the idea of adding a delicious dollop of fresh cream, which at the time would have been rather unexpected as diary products were considered a food for the poor. Unfortunately, no one knows the name of the chef responsible, hence Thomas Wolsey taken the credit.
Many believe it was King George V to introduce the combo at Wimbledon in the early 1900’s. There are many different reasons as to why strawberries and cream began being served at Wimbledon, though it is mainly due to the fact they were only available at that time of year and in the late 1800’s strawberries were a very fashionable fruit to eat. It could just have been a coincidence that they started serving them at Wimbledon, but one thing for sure is that they do symbolise the arrival of summer.
So whether you are actually able to visit and watch the tennis live at Wimbledon or if you’re watching it from the comfort of your own home, make sure to enjoy a bowl of fresh strawberries and a dollop of cream!