There’s gotta be a pavlova here somewhere

One of the recent themes on my Facebook and Twitter updates is that of making pavlova.

I have taken on the humble pav as my dessert specialty. I take them to barbecues, dinner parties, family gatherings and am about to start making them for friends just because they love them and heap praise upon my abilities to make a great pav.

Aerial shot of the pavlova
Aerial shot of the pavlova

Pavlova is an antipodean cultural phenomenon that was created in honour of the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova whilst she toured the region.

There is much conjecture as to whether it is an Australian or New Zealand invention, so I don’t want to turn up the oven heat on this and will say that both countries regard the pav as a cultural icon. Read more about the fascinating history of the pavlova on one of my favourite educative sites, Wikipedia.

I believe the pavlova is making a comeback. Once alongside the old Savoy biscuits with kabana and cheddar cheese or the coloured pickled onion on a toothpick in the party food category, it is making a retro comeback – a well deserved retro comeback that I’m helping along.

Take last Sunday for example. I rocked up to a party at a friends house with a guest list oozing with foodies and my pav decorated with blackberries and kiwifruit. I had no less than five people remark on the pavlova and how it rocked their world in that moment.

About three years ago, I had never made a pav. My aunt had given me her mother-in-law’s recipe in a book years before, but I’d always put it in the too hard category. I was afraid of failing. Until one day, I was so desperate for a pav, that I opened it up and made my very first pavlova. It wasn’t a bad effort, but it was mostly crusty meringue and not the marshmallowy inside that makes a truly great pav. So the next time I adjusted it slightly, and I’ve been making them ever since. They are super easy to make but just require some intensive output from the beaters.

So I’m making a pav today for the family Christmas lunch, making it with love and sitting back to watch the pavlova’s resurgence to the dinner table.


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