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Did you know strawberries are Wimbledon’s real champions?

strawberries

Strawberries and cream have been a quintessential part of Wimbledon’s tennis tradition since it started in 1877. These days, over a million high quality fresh strawberries (about 30 tons) are consumed each year during the two-week tournament [1].

A strawberry on the plant in the sun

Hugh Lowe Farms - the home of the Wimbledon strawberry

Each year, 1.1 Million strawberries are handpicked at sunrise and delivered to Wimbledon early in the morning on time for the tournament

Domesticating strawberries is thought to have started during the 15th century. The first hybrids grown in Europe originated from a cross between Chilean and North American species, giving rise to modern strawberry varieties (Fragaria ananassa) [2].

Hundreds of years of plant breeding and innovation have helped improve strawberry taste, quality, disease resilience, as well as delivering varieties with different ripening times. Modern agricultural practices have also helped improve strawberry production, for example by using glasshouses and tunnels, integrated pest management and hydroponics. All this adds up to produce one of the most delicious summer treats.

To enjoy the taste of Wimbledon at home, try the original strawberries and cream recipe!

[1] So why strawberries and cream? Probably because of circumstances, strawberries were in season atthe time the tournament was played and they had become a fashionable snack in Victorian England.
[2] Hardigan et al. 2021 -  Unraveling the Complex Hybrid Ancestry and Domestication History of Cultivated Strawberry, Molecular Biology and Evolution.