NEW ZEALAND has been declared the home of the first Pavlova recipe. Both Australia and New Zealand have been at loggerheads over who the title should go to for decades. The meringue with fruit and cream dessert was named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova who visited both countries in the 1920s.
Both claimed to be the original creators of the iconic dessert.
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In the relaunched online edition of the Oxford English Dictionary the first recorded Pavlova recipe appeared in New Zealand in 1927 in a book called Davis Dainty Dishes.
However, this was a multi-coloured jelly dish; the meringue version later appeared in 1928 and 1929 publications.
At least 21 Pavlova recipes were found in New Zealand cookbooks prior to 1940, which is the year the first Australian one appeared, according to Dr Helen Leach from New Zealand’s University of Otago.
The Australian claim came from a recipe by Bert Sachse, a chef in Perth, from around 1935.
The OED credits the first record of the recipe to New Zealand, but lists the origin as “Austral. And N.Z.”.
So, the debate will probably continue.