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Pavlova bragging rights – are they Australia’s or New Zealand’s?

Pavlova Pride – why Aussies and Kiwis can’t agree on whose dish it really is

Ask any Aussie and they'll tell you that pavlova is one of their country's national dishes, but a Kiwi will give you the same response! Whether pavlova was invented in Australia or New Zealand, it's a dessert that has always had a special place in both countries' hearts.

You can get an amazing variety of pavlovas, from traditional to avant-garde, with a range of different flavoured bases – like vanilla and chocolate – and an array of fillings and toppings. If you're looking for a classic taste of pavlova, try Capriccio Osteria's Pavlova With Raspberry, & Mascarpone Cream, Roasted Peach. This is a pudding you'll want to make sure you have room for, to savour the perfect blend of flavours and textures.

So what about the origins of pavlova; let's take a closer look!

Invented in honour of a ballerina

The story goes that the dessert dish was first made by a chef who wanted to make a pudding as elegant and beautiful as the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who toured Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s.

The first Aussie recipe, dated around 1935, was published by a chef in Perth called Bert Sachse. However, New Zealand's first recipe for pavlova appeared in a book called Davis Dainty Dishes in 1927. The two countries have long disputed which of them actually came up with the dish, and we may never know the real truth. Maybe the Aussies invented it, but didn't get to publish a recipe before the Kiwis, or maybe not. It's only a bit of fun between neighbouring countries – the important thing is that it's a dish that's enjoyed worldwide today!

Pavlova descendants and evolutions

A traditional pavlova is easily tweaked with different ingredients used to make the filling, and different types of fruits and syrups, so it's not surprising we can eat so many versions today. The Mango & Strawberry Pavlova at the Rare Steakhouse comes with a passionfruit syrup, providing a zesty tang to contrast the sweetness of the meringue.

But changing the flavour was just the beginning; there have been many other pavlova evolutions. One of the earliest dishes similar to pavlova was Eton Mess, an English style of the dessert, which predates the Aussie and Kiwi pavlova. Legend has it that in 1893, a strawberry, cream and meringue pudding was dropped while tea was being prepared for an Eton vs Harrow cricket match. Rather than waste it, it was scooped up and served anyway.

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For something very similar to Eton Mess, try the Smashed Pavlova at Buffalo Sears, with fresh whipped cream, strawberries and a passionfruit coulis.

Pavlova's also now one of the foods you find popping up in forms far from its original. By way of example, consider the Passionfruit Pavlova Cronut from Desserts Delivered. It's a cross between a flaky croissant and a deep fried donut and its filling is a passionfruit custard with meringue pieces. Divine and scrumptious don't come close to describing this masterpiece!

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You can even guzzle pavlova in a drink if you order from Micky's Cafe. On their vast choice of Thickshakes, you'll find a Pavolva, Passionfruit, White Chocolate one - a must-taste for any real pavlova fans!

However you want to enjoy your portion of pavlova, order now with Deliveroo and we'll bring it to you!

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