25 / Pavlova

Although the pavlova has been claimed as an Australian icon, New Zealanders insist the dessert was invented on this side of the Tasman. However, both countries agree that it was named after the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, who toured Downunder in 1926. Her filmy white costume inspired the appearance of the meringue dessert, while the green flowers on her tutu were represented by kiwifruit. Pavlova recipes began appearing in New Zealand from 1927, and by at least the 1960s the dessert was usually known simply as a pav. In 1972 its contribution to the New Zealand way of life was acknowledged by the title of Austin Mitchell’s book, The Half-Gallon Quarter-Acre Pavlova Paradise.

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