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Pavlova is a light and fluffy meringue dessert named after the ballet dancer, Anna Pavlova. The originator is not actually known but Keith Money, a Pavlova biographer, wrote that a chef at a hotel in Wellington, New Zealand created the dish when Pavlova visited there in 1926 on her world tour. There are also claims it originated in Perth, Australia.

Pavlova is made by beating egg-whites and salt to a very stiff consistency before folding in castor sugar, vanilla and vinegar, and then slow-baking the mixture to dry all the moisture and create the meringue. This leaves the outside of the pavlova a crisp crunchy shell, while the interior remains soft and moist. A popular tried and true recipe contains the following:


Pavlova is traditionally decorated with fresh fruit and whipped cream, and is especially popular in Australia and New Zealand. Factory-made pavlovas can be purchased at supermarkets and decorated as desired but rarely achieve home-baked quality. Leftover pavlova can be stored in the fridge overnight, but will absorb moisture from the air and lose its crispness.

See also: Cooking