Strawberries and cream have been a part of British cuisine since 1509 when King Henry VIII’s assistant, Thomas Wolsey, purportedly first served it as a dessert, likely because its ingredients were easy to find (via GBMag). It appeared at Wimbledon in 1877, which is when the game started being played at the venue. Johnny Perkins surmised the dessert’s popularity probably had more to do with circumstance, as he told CNN, “It was probably two things — strawberries were in season at the time the tournament was played, and in Victorian England they had become a fashionable thing to eat.”
Perkins added, “They [strawberries and cream] were part of afternoon tea, which had become a fashionable ritual, and that took root at Wimbledon.” And while cream is usually served as an option, Metro says a new plant-based version of the treat has also made its appearance at Wimbledon, so vegans and vegetarians are now able to enjoy strawberries and cream in all its glory. All told, Wimbledon says 191,930 servings of strawberries were served when it was last held, along with 276,291 glasses of Pimm’s. And while there may be other snacks you can find at Wimbledon — we’re looking at you, sandwiches, bananas, and ice cream – strawberries and cream still rule the Centre Court.