What do strawberries and cream and forty-love have in common? Yes, it’s the Wimbledon. Wimbledon is the oldest and the most prestigious tennis Grand Slam played on grass courts over a fortnight in June and July, when strawberries are in season. This food duo was adopted early in Wimbledon’s history, partly in response to the fashionability of strawberries in Victorian England.
To ensure utmost freshness, strawberries are picked the day before and arrive at Wimbledon at 5:30am, prior to being inspected and hulled. They are meant to be something special — fashionable yet steeped in tradition. World-class tennis matches are played in a garden setting where spectators and royals munch strawberries and cream. I ate mine in front of the television, watching live from Wimbledon via ESPN. Enthralled by the game. The center-court atmosphere may not be evenly matched at home, but there is no lack of imagining having breakfast or afternoon tea at Wimbledon while munching strawberries and cream.
My version of strawberries and cream takes on a healthier spin, using vanilla yogurt in addition to heavy cream in a 50/50 ratio. You can use any kind of yogurt you have on hand, except Greek yogurt, which is too thick for this operation. Whipping the cream assumes a modernist twist with the help of a whipping siphon. Other than relying on another piece of equipment that you may or may not have in your kitchen, using the siphon simplifies the whipping task. It’s instant, easy and environmentally sound. Fill the siphon with the yogurt and cream mixture, screw on the cream charger, then shake and serve. The unfinished cream can be refrigerated in the canister for later use. No cans of whipped cream have to be disposed of in landfills. This is a forty-love sort of winning technique I’ve come to lean on over and over again for an easy-to-do frothy and creamy accompaniment to fruits and vegetables.