Wimbledon is just around the corner, which means one thing- strawberries and cream! But what other traditions does the annual event bring to the court?
If you’re looking to throw your own Wimbledon party, or just looking for some summer food and drink inspiration, we’ve rounded up some of the most delicious delicacies, made famous from the sporting event.
Take a look at how you can score, even if you aren’t heading to the courts this year.
Ahhh, the refreshing taste of summer is finally here, and tennis fans from around the world will be heading to London in search of the perfect Pimms cup. But how can you make it at home so it tastes just as good as the ones served at Wimbledon?
Pimms is a gin-based liqueur. It was created by James Pimm, a farmer’s son who owned an oyster bar in 19th-century London, who offered his guests the secret mix of gin, quinine, and a spice blend as a tonic to aid digestion.
Drinks expert from Bacardi, Anthony Hogan, said: “Pimms is one of the oldest prebatched cocktails to date. It’s really popular now but it was originally just a gin based drink made with different herbs and liquers. It’s already balanced, so it has sweetness without adding anything to it. That’s why it works so well with just lemonade.”
Anthony says there are lots of ways to mix up a batch. In addition to—or instead of—the above ingredients, you can add:
- Sprite, 7UP, or lemon-lime soda
- Ginger ale or ginger beer
- Lemon juice (with our without sugar)
- Slices of any citrus fruit (lemon, lime, orange, etc.). Apple slices are also nice, though be careful not to turn your Pimms Cup into sangria.
Strawberries and cream
Strawberries and cream is a Wimbledon classic, and it’s been around for a long time. King George V first brought strawberries and cream to Wimbledon in the early 1900’s because strawberries were the only fruit available at the time and were very fashionable to eat – like the avocado, today, perhaps?
Strawberries are at their peak right now, so it’s perfect timing because more than 61,000 pounds of strawberries will be served at the annual event.
If you are hosting your very own Wimbledon celebration, or just fancy some deliciously sweet strawberries, the key to getting it right is all about the ratio of ingredients.
Morrisons joined forces with leading food scientist Dr Stuart Farrimond to discover what the perfect balance is for this classic summer treat.
The supermarket discovered that the perfect strawberry-to-cream weight ratio is 70:30 – or one tablespoon of, ideally, single cream per two fresh medium-sized strawberries.
And you should eat it within two minutes and 50 seconds of serving, or else the strawberries will start to get soggy and shrink.
Last year, over 29,000 bottles of champagne were guzzled at Wimbledon during the 2017 Championships, and whilst you may need to splash the cash to afford the finest bottle of fizz, there are alternative options that everyone can enjoy.
According to drinks experts, champagne should be served between 8-10 degrees and ideally in a flute. As beautiful as the coupes are, they make the bubbles disappear quickly and you’ll lose those aromatic notes of flavour. Sticking to a tulip shape glass will funnel the rich biscuit notes, providing the perfect taste sensation.
Take care when opening, as you don’t want to waste a drop. Slowly twist the bottle (not the cork) and aim for a gentle hiss on release.
Here are just a few of the best you can buy in the UK.
- Champagne Pol Couronne Brut, NV: £28.90 Honest Grapes
- Berry Bros. & Rudd Champagne by Mailly, Grand Cru, NV, 12%: £28.50, Berry Bros. & Rudd
- M&S Champagne Delacourt Vintage Brut, 12.5%: £35, Marks and Spencer
- Champagne Taittinger Brut 2012, 12.5%: £44, The Wine Society
- Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Louis Blanc de Blancs 2006: £130, Champagne Direct
- Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve, NV: £43, Oddbins
Afternoon tea, anyone? It’s the most popular way to take a lunch break during Wimbledon, and what would it be without a traditional cucumber sandwich?
A cucumber sandwich may seem simple, but apparently getting it right is pretty tricky. If you want to impress your guests, take a look at what top chefs have to say about the traditional snack.
A totally traditional cucumber sandwich consists of paper-thin slices of cucumber placed between two thin slices of crustless, lightly buttered bread. You already probably know it originated in the UK and is made with white bread.
Anton Edelman, a former maître chef de cuisine at the Savoy, thinks the formula success is all in how you slice the cucumber. He slices his cucumber into strips lengthways which looks fabulous, but others say this naturally results in some slices boasting a preponderance of seeds, which is less than ideal.
The bread you us is also key. This is definitely not the place for chewy sourdough or wholesome wholemeal.Soft, white bread is only way forward here. It should almost melt in your mouth once you cut the crusts off.
Food writer, critic and former chef, Simon Hopkinson, uses pain de mie, which he describes as “a firm-textured, almost creamy-tasting bread with the palest yellow, fine crumb”, whereas Dave Cruz, on the Opra Winfrey website, goes for brioche, a yet richer bread, full of butter and egg.
When it comes to butter, Gary Rhodes suggests you could use mayonnaise instead, however others argue butter and cucumbers are a winning combination, as it acts as a handy seal between filling and crumb, protecting from any dampness that could occur.
For those who like a little kick, Joanna Weinberg admits to spreading her sandwiches with Marmite in her book, How to Feed Your Friends with Relish.
Fish and chips
After a long day outdoors, there’s nothing more appetizing than the thought of tucking into a juicy plate of fish and chips. A British classic that can often differ greatly depending on where you purchase it, but how do you get it just right?
The fish is arguably the most important component of the meal, however how do you know which fish to use? Nick Miller of Millers Fish & Chips in Yorkshire told the Metro, “It has to be haddock or cod. Haddock is slightly thicker in texture, also slightly sweeter.” And if anyone knows how to get it right, it’s Nick – as Millers were crowned the UK’s Best Fish & Chip Shop at the National Fish & Chip Awards earlier this year.
But what about the batter? Whilst, the most basic recipe is just flour mixed with water, you may want to add a bit of salt, beer or herbs for extra flavour.
Harry Niazi from Olley’s Fish Experience in London said: “when it comes to the batter mix, don’t over-whisk it as you’ll knock all the gluten out. The key is to make the batter nice and thin – it’s designed to be a protective shell for the fish allowing it to steam as it cooks.”
Chunky chips, anyone? Nick Miller uses a 17mm cut in length because it means there’s less surface area, which means healthier chips. The chips should also be blanched in good quality oil at 140 degrees first, until they have a bit of give but are still firm to hold.
Feeling hungry, yet?