In all of tennis, no name gets more recognition than Wimbledon. It’s the iconic location, the place where the first tournaments were held, and still the most recognized of all the Grand Slam events. Sure, the US Open, Australian Open, and Roland Garros all have their own thrill, but nothing beats sitting under the British sun and watching two players go toe to toe in search of fame and glory on the court.
There are a few other interesting things of note about Wimbledon. Players are all required to wear white; it’s the traditional colour of the sport. Players are referred to as gentlemen and ladies, harkening back to the early days of tennis, when it was a sport played among aristocrats on their front lawns.
Wimbledon is steeped in tradition, but that’s not all there is to it. It’s the only remaining tournament played on a grass court, which makes the game immensely exciting. The bounce of the ball varies wildly, and players who have spent most of their lives playing on clay or hard courts must improvise on the fly and put their skills to the ultimate test in order to achieve victory. Not only are they playing against their opponent across the net, but they are playing against themselves and their own training, as well.
Wimbledon and Strawberries, a Match Made in Heaven
However, the ultimate Wimbledon tradition among fans has less to do with the game and more to do with the taste buds: strawberries and cream or chocolate, if you prefer. Originally consumed by royalty, the tasty favourite has spread to the crowd in general, and is as much a part of the tournament as tennis.
The growing season for strawberries is at its peak during the Wimbledon tournament, so it’s no surprise that strawberries are eaten then. Originally done as per necessity (they would spoil if not eaten during their season), they are now consumed en masse by the crowds that gather each year to watch the sport. The standard servings at Wimbledon are no less than 10 berries plus the cream that goes along with it. This collection is called a punnet, and there are more than 8,600 punnets eaten per day – when you consider the tournament lasts for around two weeks, that’s a lot of strawberries eaten.
More than 7,000 litres of fresh cream is consumed during the course of the tournament, in addition to 28,000 kg of strawberries. The strawberries arrive fresh each morning, and are thoroughly inspected before being served. Unlike most tournaments, when Wimbledon officials tell you it’s fresh, they mean it. The sweet flavour of the cream combined with the slightly tart taste of strawberries is the perfect combination, often washed down with champagne or a pint of your favourite ale.
Wimbledon draws in millions in tourism pounds from all over the world; the 2013 tournament showed an increase in visitors from China, India, and Malaysia. As the popularity of tennis continues to grow all over the world, the number of visitors will also increase.
The spread of traditions such as Wimbledon, strawberries and cream, and other British ideas marks a definitive increase in global awareness of British culture, and serves only to increase curiosity and bring in more tourism money each year. If you ever get the chance, be sure to attend; there's no experience quite like it anywhere else on the planet.
Wimbledon, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries and Godiva
The name Godiva is synonymous with chocolate and we freshly dip strawberries in chocolate in our stores daily. See: The Art of Dipping Strawberries.
You don't need to wait till Wimbledon to enjoy strawberries, we dip them in chocolate every day. Find a Godiva store near you: Godiva Store Locator