It is well known that Kiwis and Aussies have a rich history of gentle ribbing. For decades, we have argued over who invented the pavlova.
The answer, we thought, came in 2008 when Professor Helen Leach wrote The Pavlova Story: A Slice of New Zealand’s Culinary History, saying the first true pavlova recipe was Pavlova Cake from New Zealand in 1929. While a dessert named after the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova was a four-layered jelly from a book published in 1926.
However, Dr Andrew Paul Wood, a New Zealander, and Annabelle Utrecht, an Australian, have been tracing the origins of the dish for two years. They can “categorically state” the modern pavlova began life as a German torte, eventually travelling to the US where it evolved into its final form.
They have found more than 150 pavlova-like meringue cakes served with cream and fruit prior to 1926. They have also found more than 50 dishes named after Pavlova occurring before 1927.