Forget the footy! This weekend I’ll be glued to the TV screen watching the Wimbledon men’s singles final. I’m determined to actually go to SW19 and watch a match at the All England Club one of thes
e days. However, in the meantime I’m content to spectate from the comfort of my sofa. I might even treat myself to a couple of glasses of Pimm’s and some strawberries and cream.
How many strawberries are served at Wimbledon?
Strawberries and cream are synonymous with Wimbledon, but I was curious to discover just how much is served during the championships. I therefore visited the website of the catering company that provides them and found out that a whopping 28,000 kilos of strawberries and 7,000 litres of cream is consumed during the two weeks of Wimbledon. 150,000 glasses of Pimm’s are knocked back as well as 17,000 bottles of champagne, 7,000 litres of dairy ice cream and 300,000 cups of tea and coffee – that’s a lot of washing-up!
Players aren’t the only ones seeded
At the time of writing fellow Brit, and world number 2 seed, Andy Murray, is yet to play his semi-final match against number 8 seed Thomas Berdych. Let’s hope he makes it through to the final and goes on to win. The players, of course, aren’t the only ones that are seeded at Wimbledon. An average strawberry has around 200 seeds. (No wonder at least one always gets stuck between your teeth). Another fact that you might not know about strawberries is that they are actually members of the rose family.
Why soft fruit goes mouldy so quickly
I really enjoy strawberries, but my one bugbear is that they seem to start going mouldy after a couple of days. The reason soft fruits turn so quickly is because they exhale moisture as they respire. This humid surface is particularly attractive to mould spores, which find the thin skin easy to penetrate. They then germinate andmultiply.
To prolong the life of strawberries and other soft fruit you can keep them in the fridge. Ideally separate them out and spread them on a paper towel to absorb any moisture and prevent moisture from becoming trapped between the fruits. The cold temperature of the fridge will also slow the metabolism of the fruit and inhibit mould growth.
It seems that mould spores don’t do well in extremes of temperature. Apparently one of the most effective ways of preventing/slowing mould growth is to plunge the strawberries into boiling water for around 30 seconds. They should then be removed from the water and spread out and dried as above.
Good news! Strawberries are really good for you
Strawberries are not only deliciously sweet; they are also really good for you. We associate citrus fruits, and especially oranges, with being high in vitamin C, but just 8 strawberries contain more vitamin C than a whole orange. The ancient romans certainly believed strawberries to be healthy. They were used to treat all manner of ailments from depression to fever, fainting, kidney stones, sore throats and bad breath.
Nowadays strawberries are still considered beneficial to health. As well as vitamin C, they contain vitamins K, B6, folic acid, potassium, fibre, amino acids and high levels of nitrate. These properties can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. They’re low in calories too, so you can eat them to your heart’s content without feeling too guilty – just watch out for the natural sugar content though.
Simple strawberry recipes
Here’s a really easy recipe for Strawberry Fool
And another for a refreshing Strawberry Daiquiri
Plus don’t forget that our food safety courses can ensure that you avoid any cross-contamination when preparing foods containing this delicious fruit.