This classic dessert adapts to whatever you fancy – fresh fruit, yoghurt, whipped cream or even coffee on your meringue
Stalwart of a thousand summer lunch parties, the pavlova, a magnificent billowing cloud of cream and meringue and seasonal fruit, is named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who visited Australia and New Zealand in 1926. Which Antipodean nation can take credit for it, however, is unclear – though the combination of meringue and cream is far older than Anna herself, both countries claim the pavlova as their own.
The safest course to steer seems to be that of Helen M Leach, who, having reviewed the evidence in her book The Pavlova Cake: the Evolution of a National Dish, declares her “preferred, more diplomatic conclusion is that we are dealing with a case of convergent cultural evolution.”
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