It’s not wimbledon without strawberries

Sandra Harwitt

Think of strawberries and cream, think of Wimbledon. It's that simple.

After the tennis, the most famous thing associated with Wimbledon is something you eat.

That's right, strawberries and cream are almost as much identified with Wimbledon as the tennis. Many of the gift items in the souvenir shops on the grounds are adorned with strawberries: tea pots, tea cups, tea towels, table clothes, purses, silver pendants and socks.

Strawberries are so much a tradition that at the Wimbledon train station one of the premiere British supermarket chains sponsored the signage railings where people can queue for Wimbledon information. On the banners, M&S is advertising their half-price sale of British-grown strawberries.

Here at Wimbledon the bowl of strawberries, which you have the option of pouring cream over, (forget the extra calories, when in England do as the English) isn't being offered at half-price. In the press restaurant they cost £2.50 -- the equivalent of just a few pennies shy of $4. Maybe that doesn’t sound too bad, but it's a small bowl with about nine strawberries.

Interestingly, this year the familiar sign that had always accompanied the prepared bowls of strawberries is not in the dining room. A fixture, it warned not to take additional strawberries from other bowls, as the precise allotment per cup has been carefully counted.

To that many of the media used to comment: "You cannot be serious." Thank you John McEnroe for coining a phrase with a variety of fitting purposes.