New evidence proves pavlova’s Aussie origins

By AG Staff Writer 1 April 2019
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An archaeological dig in Sydney has uncovered an incredibly preserved meringue, cream and fruit concoction that dessert historians are dubbing incontrovertible proof that the pavlova was born in Australia, not New Zealand.

IT’S THE AGE-OLD debate that has divided Australians and New Zealanders like the body of water that actually divides them: which nation invented the pavlova?

In 2010 the Oxford English Dictionary appeared to have settled the debate when it reported the first recorded pavlova recipe appeared in print in New Zealand in 1927, while the earliest Australian recipes did not appear until around 1935.

Many Australians felt that was a travesty of justice, and today will feel vindicated as the the question can finally be put to rest – thanks to a new discovery at a colonial–era archaeological dig sponsored by the newly formed dessert research faction of the Australian Geographic Society.

“We knew we’d found something important when the dogs in the vicinity started salivating,” said Ivan Pudin, a volunteer at the site in the northern Sydney suburb of Artartmon.  “With incredible delicacy, we dusted away the soil and couldn’t believe our eyes – crispy egg-white, delicious whipped cream and assorted fruit. It couldn’t be anything else but the world’s earliest evidence of the pavlova.”

Sweet, sweet victory

A selection of other 19th century artefacts at the site confirmed the historical significance of the find, and placed the origin of the pudding at more than 150 years old. Scientists are still investigating how exactly it has been preserved eerily well for so long – leading some to claim it may in fact have originated in the USA, but there’s little evidence to support this.

“What’s really fascinating is that it even predates the visit of Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova in the 1920s, which was said to be the original inspiration for the recipe,” said Hazel Nutte, visiting lecturer in meringueological sciences from Oxbridge University, UK. “It was almost perfectly preserved and formed – which was lucky as it might have been mistaken for an Eton Mess, which is a recurring problem in our field,” Nutte explained.

One of the volunteers at the archaeological dig, Russell Raven, was visiting from New Zealand (that’s the one with the red stars on its flag) said he was surprised by the discovery. “I thought pevlova was as Kiwi as fush and chups,” he said.

The finding has enormous implications for diplomatic relations between the two neighbouring nations, with both country’s leaders vowing to sort it out over a cup of tea and a plate of Anzac biscuits in the near future.

Unfortunately the veracity of this article expired like a 150-year-old cream-based dessert a 12pm on 1 April. Happy April Fools Day!