Will the UK be serving strawberries and cream after Wimbledon?

It’s hard to believe that Wimbledon 2019 is just around the corner. This much anticipated event runs Monday 1, July – Sunday 14, July. Even though this year’s winners may not be a sure thing, there is one tradition patrons will rely on your business to serve: strawberries and cream.  Did you know that more than 28,000 kg of strawberries and 7,000 litres of fresh cream is consumed during the tournament?

Whilst the growing season for strawberries is at its peak during the July tennis championship, this year’s crop arrived a few weeks ahead of schedule thanks to the better than normal weather. The good news is that all of us can enjoy this sweet fruit before and during the games. But there is some concern that strawberries may not be so plentiful later in the summer.

It’s been reported that although the number of workers to pick the berries is enough for now, farmers fear that this number may drop as the summer progresses. There are several reasons for worry. First, growers across Europe are competing for labour. In fact, the workers are deciding where to work and for how long before they move to another farm. Second, other countries like Germany are offering tax incentives for foreign workers, which may entice many fruit pickers to forgo coming to the UK. Finally, one possible consequence of Brexit may come into play as many eastern European workers choose to stay and work in other European member states where they feel more welcome.

Our experts will continue to monitor the market and provide updates if shortages or price increases are expected. Enhance has established relationships with many national and local suppliers and know the market pricing better than anyone else. That’s why we’ll find you the best value. For example, our procurement experts recently saved several of our clients between 14-21% on their fruit & veg spend, and up to 15% on their dairy. You can be sure that we’ll procure the freshest fruit and dairy at the lowest price all summer long.

In the meantime, we suggest you serve Britain’s favourite summer-time fruit to customers now and start planning your favourite strawberries and cream concoctions like this Eton Mess recipe, compliments of Enhance’s in-house chef, Andy Morris. Enjoy!

Eton Mess

There are a few theories as to how Eton Mess was first created. Most credit Eton College as its birth place – sometime around 1893 – but the story I like best is that a strawberry meringue dessert was dropped at a cricket match between Eton & Harrow and the chef, rather than letting it go to waste, scooped up the meringue and served it in bowls. What a mess, but it’s oh so good!

 

Ingredients

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 500g strawberries hulled and roughly chopped
  • 450ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • Small bunch mint

Method

  1. Heat oven to 120C/100C fan/gas 1 and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl using an electric whisk or tabletop mixer until they reach stiff peaks, then add the sugar in 3 lots, re-whisking to stiff peaks every time.
  3. Spoon dollops of the mixture onto the baking parchment, cook on the bottom shelf of the oven for 1hr – 1hr15 mins until the meringues are completely hard and come off the paper easily. Leave to cool.
  4. Blitz 1/3 of the strawberries to make a strawberry sauce.
  5. Chop the remainder of the strawberries into halves or quarters depending on size.
  6. In a large bowl whisk the cream with the icing sugar until it just holds its shape.
  7. Roughly crush ¾ of the meringues and tip them in with the chopped strawberries and stir, then swirl through the strawberry sauce.
  8. Dollop into bowls then crush the remaining meringues, sprinkling the pieces over the top.
  9. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and serve immediately.

For an added twist, try marinating the chopped strawberries in good quality balsamic vinegar for 30 minutes before mixing with the cream & meringue. Garnish with fresh basil rather than mint.