The world’s best strawberries, the popular icon of Wimbledon: “They are so good!”

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LONDON – Long lines wait for the most desired snack when you think of tennis and London.

The madness is for fruits. The Wimbledon experience is not complete without tasting its famous strawberries, one of the icons of the most traditional event of the sport.

The tradition dates back to the first edition of the tournament in 1877. Today, strawberries are available all year round in England and around the world, but in the 19th century, they were only produced during the summer season, which coincided with the tournament.

Back then, people would arrive with strawberries to eat at the picnics held at the All England Club. They were also sold at the venue and everyone enjoyed them with tea (today tea is replaced by sparkling wine most of the times).

A kiosk in the All England Club selling Strawberries & Cream // ARCHIVE WIMBLEDON MUSEUM
Many people crave the spectacular strawberries / SEBASTIAN VARELA

They are harvested 36 kilometers from Church Road, and are served the same day. While the tournament is taking place, the strawberries are picked at 4 am, packed at 8 o’clock and from 10 am onwards, they start to be sold. The snack knows no inflation: you have to pay 2.5 pounds per portion (US$ 3). The same amount as in 2010.

They are extremely important to the icon of Wimbledon. What happened in 1989 is proof of that. That year, incessant rain prevented the game from taking place during the first five days of the first week. On the afternoon of that Friday, the press room was alerted to an important official announcement. Journalists thought it would be about scheduling. Perhaps, that the game would be enabled during the first Sunday, traditionally a holiday. This was not the case.

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The communication was going other way: the All England Club was apologizing to the public because the quality of the strawberries was not being the best.

The strawberries are the most important popular icon of Wimbledon // WIMBLEDON MUSEUM
The strawberries are the most important popular icon of Wimbledon // WIMBLEDON MUSEUM

There is strawberries & cream combination for vegans and lactose intolerant as well: the tournament offers coconut and soy-based cream since 2019.

Argentine journalist Guillermo Salatino, who covered Wimbledon from 1977 to 2022, except in 1982 because of the War in the Malvinas Islands (Falklands), says to CLAY that every year, the quality is just as high: “Have you seen that it’s like tennis? The hardest thing is to maintain consistency, and the strawberries at Wimbledon have always been very good. The best I’ve ever tasted.”

With strawberries of perfect texture, ideal balance between sweetness and acidity, and the delicious juiciness mixed with the taste of the cream, Wimbledon is much more enjoyable.

The best strawberries in the whole world.

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