Iconic Aussie Food: Pavlova


This is a post in an ongoing series on iconic Aussie food. Be sure to check back for more, or subscribe to my RSS feed to receive updates automatically to your reader.

pavlovaPavlova is an interesting Aussie dessert that combines a meringue base with cream and fresh fruit on top. It is a sweet dessert given the meringue base, but it is light and refreshing on a warm summer day down under given the fruit bits on top.

The exact history of this dessert is sketchy, so it seems that both Australia and New Zealand claim it as its own. Obviously, this is still a topic of debate between the two countries who like to bicker about the origins of many things down under. What they think is that it was named after Anna Pavlova, a Russian ballerina, after she toured in Oceania in the 1920s.

To make a “pav” as locals call it, you first need to make the base. This involves preparing a meringue mix and slow-baking so that the outside becomes crispy and the inside is chewy. Alternatively, there are pre-made pavlova bases for sale at the grocery stores.

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Once that is done, you plop on a good dose of fresh whipped cream, which will help the fruit to stay in place. Common fruit toppings include berries, strawberries, kiwi fruit and — an Aussie favorite — passionfruit.

Pavlova is definitely growing on me, especially since every barbecue I am a part of involves one of these guys as a dessert. Are you a fan of pavlova? If so, what are your favorite toppings?

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