The Pavlova is an airy dessert created from crisp, meringue usually topped with whipped cream and different fruits. It is a well-loved dessert in Australia and interestingly New Zealand. The origins of the Pavlova is a hotly contested debate among Aussie’s and New Zealanders.
There has been a sibling rivalry between the two closed neighbours about the origin of the much loved “pav” as they affectionately call it.
The Pavlova has a fascinating history and named after Anna Pavlova, a famous Russian ballerina who toured New Zealand and Australia in 1926. Anna Pavlova is a well-loved Russian Ballerina who was widely admired around the world. Many chefs have named their food after her, including the “Pavlova ice cream” in the US and the legs à la Pavlova‘ in France. They were even desserts named “strawberries Pavlova” that were found in Auckland in 1911.
The Australian and New Zealand Pavlova’s have two versions of its origin; the Australians believe that Pavlova was first invented at a hotel in Perth. It featured a crunchy meringue with a topping of cream and passionfruit. They named it after the ballerina when the diners said that the desert is as light as Pavlova.
On the other hand, the Zealanders noted that it was a chef in a Wellington hotel that invented the Pavlova. Her visit inspired the chef in the hotel, so they created a dessert to honour her. It featured a meringue with cream and slices of kiwifruit.
The Pavlova is prepared by preheating the oven tray with foil to 120 degrees celsius. Using an electric mixer whisk white eggs in a bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually was adding sugar at one tablespoon at a time until the meringue is thick and glossy. You will be adding vanilla, a little vinegar and cornflour and whisk until its combined. It will be formed using a spatula and baked in the oven for about half an hour.
An electric mixer will be used to whisk the cream and icing sugar and placed onto the Pavlova. A selection of different fruits such as kiwifruit, banana, starfruit, passion fruit and other fruits are added to decorate the Pavlova. There are slightly different versions of Pavlova’s, but it’s a very delicious and fruity dessert.
The first known Pavlova recipe was found a New Zealand cookbook named “Davis Dainty Dishes” in 1929. But of course, Australians dispute that and claim that it was based on a chef in Perth, Western Australia named Bert Sachse. But does it matter who invented it? What is important is people from both countries enjoy the delicious dessert.
However, some researchers dispute both versions and suggest that the Pavlova has its roots in Austria, Germany and America. Austrians already ate the first recipe similar to Pavlova, a cream, meringue, and fruit torte in the 18th century. Similarly, many meringue-based recipes were found even before the Pavlova appeared in recipes in 1926 in Australia and New Zealand. But, whatever its origins both Aussie’s and New Zealanders still love and enjoy the delicious Pavlova dessert.