The wild strawberry goes all the way back to the Roman times. It was a symbol of the goddess Venus (goddess of love) and was prized for its medicinal uses.
It was believed that the berries essentially made you happy and cleansed you blood, liver and spleen. The first cultivated garden strawberry as we know it now, was grown in Brittany, France in the late 18th Century. Prior to this, it would have been the wild fruit or a cultivated version of the wild berry.
The winning combination of strawberries and cream was introduced by Thomas Wolsey, a right hand man to King Henry VIII. It is believed that he served this dish at a lavish banquet in 1509. It was then served to spectators of tennis matches (at a court in Thomas’ palace) and the perfect snack was born!
The first Championships (in 1877), where 200 spectators attended also saw strawberries and cream served. Currently, on average 10,000 litres of cream and 28,000 kg of strawberries are eaten at the tournament each year. To ensure the utmost freshness, the Grade 1 strawberries from LEAF-registered farms in Kent, are picked the day before and arrive at Wimbledon at 5.30a.m prior to being inspected and hulled.
Sure – strawberries and cream is a classic! It’s simple, delicious and is all about the berry! However, the strawberry season is relatively short and they go off quickly, even in the fridge. Therefore, we figured that the more ways we can think of of using them up, the better! One of the best ways of preserving them is turning them into jam (check out our tutorial). Uses for jam are endless – on toast, in sauces, cakes or as a part of cream tea. We have created a little twist on cream tea by using madeleines instead of scones. This could be served as a dessert as it is a more delicate and lighter than a scone.