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TENNIS

Why does the audience eat strawberries and cream at Wimbledon 2022?

The origins of the strawberries and cream at Wimbledon are thought to date back to the early 16th century, another classic English tradition.

Update:
The origins of the strawberries and cream at Wimbledon are thought to date back to the early 16th century, another classic English tradition.
Zac Goodwin - PA ImagesGetty

With Wimbledon now in full-swing, many tennis fans showing up to the event have been, and still are wondering about all the traditions that come along with the world’s most famous tennis tournament, from all-white uniforms to the strawberry and cream delicacy.

It has been said by organizers at Wimbledon that the event requires the largest catering operation in Europe. And while generally food and drink play an integral part in people’s enjoyment of the competition, strawberries and cream seem to be consumed at lofty amounts, with 190,900 portions of the desert gobbled up annually, on average.

But why is this dish such a Wimbledon thing?

Read more: Why do players have to wear white clothes when playing at Wimbledon?

Why are strawberries and cream served at Wimbledon?

During the early 16th century, King Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, was thought to have first served strawberries and cream as a simple banquet dessert in 1509 when the King and court visited his home at Hampton Court, ten miles away from Wimbledon.

Since then, the classic dish was thought of as a delicacy that the King ate, and the tradition survived with the years that followed.

Strawberries and cream were served at the first ever edition of Wimbledon in 1877, when there were only 200 fans present. The 2022′s championship, taking place from June 27 - July 10, sees the delicacy served on the famous tea lawn and is even highlighting a timeline of the berries’ journey from the farms to the tournament.

How much are strawberries and cream at Wimbledon?

The strawberries at Wimbledon are picked in Kent at dawn before being delivered to the grounds in south London. The price of portions at the 2021 championships were £2.50.

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