Wimbledon's famous strawberries now come...as mush

Tue Jul 7, 2015 12:56pm EDT
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By Michael Roddy

LONDON (Reuters) - There's a new way to ingest strawberries at Wimbledon this year but the public isn't invited and the famous berries from the nearby English county of Kent aren't eaten with a spoon and don't come with cream either.

They are being blended to bits in a special type of "smoothie".

To keep up with the ever more arcane dietary demands of professional tennis players, the Wimbledon catering service, which sells 28 tonnes of Kent strawberries doused in 7,000 litres of Devon cream every championship, this year installed Nutribullet food "extractors" in the players' restaurant.

"It was something we'd seen was becoming popular in Britain and so we thought we should be offering it," said Jonathan Parker, Wimbledon's director of catering.

The choice of ingredients for the "smoothie", include kale and spinach, sunflower, pumpkin or flax seeds, walnuts, almonds, cashews, kiwis, blueberries, raspberries, mineral water, ice, and, yes, the very same Kentish strawberries sold to the public.

The blender breaks down the cell walls of fibrous plant foods and out comes something that can be described as green liquid, with bits of other things floating around.

"They say they taste better than they look," said Emma Farrow, 21, one of the servers at the "smoothie" bar -- which also has normal "smoothie makers", in the players' restaurant, on the top floor of a pavilion with a delightful outdoor dining area overlooking the courts.

"It tastes very healthy," added co-worker Rhea Vernon, 20.   Continued...