Did You Know?

Tennis fans at this year's Wimbledon Championship fortnight will tuck into over 23 tonnes of fresh strawberries and a whopping 7000 litres of cream.

The history of strawberries and cream, tennis fans’ favourite summer treat, can be traced all the way back to Tudor times. Feasts were part-and-parcel of life as a member of the upper class in the 1500s and King Henry VIII’s court was renowned for huge feasts with birds and beasts from every corner of the country stuffed, roasted or stewed.

One particularly prominent member of King Henry’s court was Cardinal Wolsey. As the Lord Chancellor he was one of the King’s closest advisors and, with such power and wealth, built an impressive river side home that we know now as Hampton Court. The magnificent building was a popular destination for King Henry’s court, who spent a great deal of time there taking part in opulent feasts.

When Henry VIII’s court visited Hampton Court, the kitchen would have to prepare food for over 1,200 people, often including 44 different cooked animals and birds with each meal! With so much cooking to do, a simple dessert of strawberries and cream gave the kitchen a well needed rest. Dairy products at the time were considered peasant food so it was a daring chef that suggested paring the sweet fruit with rich cream. Luckily for that anonymous chef, the dish was a delight and become a staple of many Royal occasions, from King Henry VIII’s court, to the tennis court.

Leave a Reply.