The mighty pav - finally proven to be ours

  • Breaking
  • 04/12/2010

By Dave Goosselink

The debate over the origin of the pavlova has raged for years.

Now the online edition of the Oxford English Dictionary has declared victory for New Zealand, citing a recipe from 1927.

But pavlova historian Helen Leach says that was a four-coloured jelly dessert that no-one really wants bragging rights to, and she points out the Aussies actually published the recipe a year earlier.

“You could say that the first gelatine pavlova, the mutli-layered, brightly coloured thing, is Australian in origin,” she says.

But she insists New Zealand was first where it counts, with coffee-flavoured meringues in 1928 and the first real pav recipe a year later.

“The proper pavlova cake appears in the New Zealand Dairy Exporter Annual, dated 1929,” says Mrs Leach.

That's a full six years before the dish Australians like to claim, baked in honour of Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.

The Aussie media reckon it's all an international conspiracy between the poms and the kiwis, and top Australian chef Margaret Fulton is sticking to her guns.

“It’s here that it happened, and we all should be very proud to be making pavlovas and enjoying them,” she says.

But the debate isn't putting off those working towards the Christmas rush at the country's biggest pavlova company.

“We produce about 500,000 to 1 million pavlovas a year for the Australians, and they just believe that our pavlovas are better quality than what they were getting over there,” says Matthew Heaton of Cowell’s Pavlova.

A sweet success that may leave a sour taste in the mouth of some Australians.

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source: newshub archive