The Oxford English Dictionary Has An Official Position on Who Invented the Pavlova

There is a long running dispute on who invented the Pavlova – New Zealand or Australia?

Based on the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, the fruit-and-cream-topped meringue is causing quite the conundrum.

The Oxford English Dictionary says the first recorded Pavlova recipe appeared in Davis Dainty Dishes in New Zealand in 1927. Published by the Davis Gelatine company, in the cookbook, Pavlova was a multi-coloured jelly fish.

New Zealander claim the meringue dessert was published in 1928 and 1929 in New Zealand however Dr. Helen Leach from the University of Otago says, “I can find at least 21 Pavlova recipes in New Zealand cookbooks by 1940, which was the year the first Australian ones appeared.”

The Australians claim that Perth based chef, Bert Sachse produced the recipe in 1935.

This garners the question that many third person observers would ask, “does it matter?” At the end of the day, it’s just a dessert, isn’t it?

Oxford English Dictionary has made a fair ruling on this potentially silly feud, listing the origin of the Pavlova as “Austral. And N.Z”. Obviously, despite this established neutral ground, there may well be continued bicker between the two countries for who coined what first.

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