Monday, March 13, 2023

History of pavlova cake

The pavlova is an airy dessert made from crisp meringue shell topped with whipped cream and fruit. The first known recipe for a dish bearing the name 'Pavlova' is from Australia in 1926 published by the Davis Gelatine company in Sydney.

The pavlova is named after the famed Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who toured Australia and New Zealand in 1926. Anna Pavlova was a superstar of her day, adored and admired all over the world. As a result, many chefs across the world named their dishes after her from the ‘Pavlova ice cream’ in America to the ‘frogs’ legs à la Pavlova’ in France – with the first found recipe of a glacé type of dessert known as ‘strawberries Pavlova’ found in Auckland, in 1911.

Both Australia and New Zealand claim to have invented the pavlova. In Australia, chef Herbert “Bert” Sachse is claimed to have created the pavlova at Perth's Esplanade Hotel in 1935, and it was named by the house manager, Harry Nairn, who remarked it was “as light as pavlova”.

The first reference to a "Pavlova Cake Sweet" (were there savoury pavlovas) appears, in the Australian Women Weekly of Saturday, 19 July 1937.

But New Zealanders claim the meringue version also originated there, with recipes for it appearing in publications in 1928 and 1929.

However, according to the latest discovery, during 18th century large meringue constructions incorporating cream and fruit elements could be found in aristocratic kitchens across German-speaking lands.

The first Pavlova-like recipe was a meringue, cream and fruit torte named Spanische Windtorte, eaten by Austrian Habsburgs in the 18th century.

Soon, women in middle-class European kitchens began creating meringue cakes topped with whipped cream, nuts and fruit or fruit preserves. Europe was in turmoil with the Napoleonic wars in the 1800s and when people moved and settled in other lands, the pavlova-like desserts went with them.
History of pavlova cake