Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Earlier this year, I wrote about Gourmet Gypsy Art Cafe.

Went back there with some friends to have coffee in the afternoon and tasted this wonderful looking sweet treat, the Pavlova.
This dessert merengue-based dessert was created in honor of Russian prima Ballerina Anna Pavlova when she visited the Australian continent for her world tour in the 1920s.
The origins of the dish has created confusion amongst culinary anthropologists (yes, there is such a job) from two of the most laid back countries in the world,  Australia and New Zealand.

In the book The Pavlova Story: A Slice of New Zealand’s Culinary History, professor Helen Leach claims that the dish was created in 1935 in New Zealand. In his 1982 book Pavlova: Her Life And Art,  Keith Money, writes that the light and airy dessert was inspired by her tutu, draped in green silk cabbage roses. The chef created a meringue case with whipped cream and topped with Kiwi fruit. 
A relative of the late Chef Herbert Sachse of Hotel Esplanade in Perth, Western Australia refutes Leach's claim. Actually writing to her to say that it was he who invented the dessert during the ballerina's Australian tour in 1929. In chefpedia.or,  Chef John Mangan Miller wrote on behalf of L’ Académie Culinaire de France Australie. Inc that he is more inclined to believe that it was  Sachse who created the dish  because "he was of Swiss origin and may have had knowledge of the vacherin," a meringue dessert filled with whipped cream (sometimes ice cream) and fruits.
Vacherin hoto courtesy of
The first published reference to the Pavlova was in 1927 in the sixth edition of the "Davis Dainty Dishes" published by the Davis Gelatine New Zealand Ltd.  BUT  refers to using gelatin as an ingredient which is not a key ingredient in the Pavlova.

As a gesture of dessert supremacy, students at the Eastern Institute of Technology,  Hawke's Bay, New Zealand created the "Pavkong" a 64-meter long Pavlova made of 300 kilos of cream and sugar, and 5,000 egg whites.
Photo courtesy of
While the issue remains to be settled between New Zealand and Australia, the rest of the world can enjoy this light airy dish.

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