Pavlova (food)

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Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Ánna Pávlova.[1] Colloquially referred to as "pav", it is a cake similar to meringue with a crispy crust and soft, light inner.[2] The name is pronounced /pævˈloʊvə/ or /pɑːvˈloʊvə/, unlike the name of the dancer, which was /ˈpɑːvləvə/ or /ˈpævləvə/.[3][4][5]

The dessert is believed to have been created in honour of the dancer either during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. The nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two nations for many years, but formal research indicates New Zealand as the more probable source.[2]

The dessert is a popular dish and an important part of the national cuisine of both countries, and is frequently served during celebratory or holiday meals such as Christmas lunch.

Contents

History

Research suggests the recipe originated in New Zealand.[6] Keith Money, a biographer of Anna Pavlova, wrote that a hotel chef in Wellington, New Zealand, created the dish when Pavlova visited there in 1926 on her world tour.[7]

Professor Helen Leach, a culinary anthropologist at the University of Otago in New Zealand, has compiled a library of cookbooks containing 667 pavlova recipes from more than 300 sources.[6] Her book, The Pavlova Story: A Slice of New Zealand’s Culinary History, states that the first Australian pavlova recipe was created in 1935 while an earlier version was penned in 1929[2] in the rural magazine NZ Dairy Exporter Annual.[1]

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