Its that time of the year again when Britain indulges in luxurious strawberries and cream. With a summer packed with ‘society events’ from the Chelsea Flower Show and Glyndebourne, through to the sporting occasions of Henley, Ascot and Wimbledon, it seems that the British public just can’t get enough of the delicious strawberries and cream.
To such an extent that last year 28,000kg of strawberries were consumed alongside 7,000 litres of cream at Wimbledon alone. Totalling more than 142,000 portions of the soft fruit and cream, it’s a busy time for dairies as they produce the cream required. That’s even before we start to consider the 60,000 ice creams that are also consumed over Wimbledon’s two-week period.
Don’t worry however, as with more than 660 farm producers supplying us more than 600 million litres of milk we have it more than covered. The question however should be what cream to go for..?
For those who love to indulge and pour cream over their strawberries the most popular option is single cream. It has the lowest fat content, typically around 18% fat, and offers a smooth and lighter option. Those who love a fuller, sweeter dairy flavour may prefer to go for a spoonful of luxurious double cream, be warned however as the fat content here is typically around 48%.
The most common type of cream used in desserts or put onto strawberries is whipping cream. Whipped cream is made through a whipping process, which captures air bubbles into a network of fat droplets to form foam. This air incorporation and fat clumping, gives the cream body, which should be thick, smooth and glossy and be as stiff as possible without forming butter.
The whipping process also adds volume to cream, which can bring better margins to food catering or manufacturing businesses, and can increase volume by two or three times dependent on the type of whipping device used.
‘Overrun’ is the technical term used for the percentage volume increase achieved during the whipping process. For example, an overrun of 100% means the volume of whipped cream is double that of the unwhipped cream.
There are also a number of factors that can affect the performance of whipped cream, including fat content, temperature, age and equipment used. As we head into the summer season and soaring heat perhaps it’s the temperature that’s key, so please remember that cream whips best when it is chilled at or below 5°C.
At Meadow Foods we have industry leading experts in the use of milks and creams in both large and small scale production. Our Technical and NPD teams are always willing to work alongside our customers to improve the quality of their finished product. With the right dairy supply in place, your customers can simply sit back and enjoy the weather and all that the season and its strawberries and cream have to offer.