Talk:Pavlova (food)

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I see Hollahollaholla03 has replaced the main image, what are other people's thoughts on this as opposed to the previous one? Personally I think the earlier one was better since it was sliced and you could see the interior 'pav', where as the one in this new picture is all but invisible under all that chocolate, strawberries and kiwifruit. And while it may look like it would be a very nice pav to eat, all that chocolate doesn't seem like very typical decoration, at least I've never seen that done before (hm, not that winegums are either for that matter, but at least with the slice taken out of it you can actually see the pav). Maybe somebody could just take a nice picture of a plain pav, with a slice out of it to show the interior texture.Number36 (talk) 23:39, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Agree the new pic obscures the content of the actual cake. This look more like a chocolate cake. The pomegranate pic is much better. Format (talk) 06:52, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Agreed, I swapped them but it messed up the formatting a bit. Sorry! (talk) 12:36, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

This is a non-debate[edit]

I have read this entire talk page and it appears that most Australians have grown up with a myth, and upon having had that myth exposed, instead of accepting the new reality some have become pig headed about their myth. It's like the flat earth society - instead of accepting that the earth is a sphere they just come up with more and more tenuous arguements to assert what they want to believe. See confirmation bias

It is obvious that the New Zealand case is clearly the strongest and the Australian case lacks substance. Just as rugby has been adopted by New Zealanders as their national sport without any need to claim they invented it, pavlova should be accepted in the same way by Australians. (talk) 09:49, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Most Australians aren't arguing the point. This article is stable. Few people actually care. Format (talk) 01:48, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm an Australian, and I don't give a damn where pavlova came from. Flash Man999 (talk) 15:11, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
The only way this is ever going to be settled is if New Zealand becomes officially part of Australia. Which would be awesome. (talk) 12:03, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm a kiwi who moved to Sydney recently and I was surprised to see many Aussies celebrating Australia Day with pavlova. It may have originated in New Zealand but it doesn't mean it can't be traditional in Australia too. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:09, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Neutral Point of View and deeper history explained[edit]

Evidence shows that Pavlova originated in New Zealand, and then adapted in Australia shortly afterwards, yet very little is said of the Pavlova's Australian history, why it is considered by many to be Australian, and an Australian point of view on it. However, and with no disrespect to any NZ friends, much is said of the New Zealand point of view and origins. To me this shows a lack of depth on the subject of Pavlovas and fails to demonstrate a neutral point of view. It would be appropriate if more was explained in the article in this regard. --Belfry (talk) 13:37, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

I think this is a general problem, and not just related to Australia, though input on the rise of the dessert from an Aussie point of view is definitely important. The early history of pavlova's now fairly thoroughly covered, but not how it reached iconic status in either country, or whether it or similar foods are known elsewhere. It's more a case of {{globalise}} than {{NPOV}}. Grutness...wha? 00:42, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
I know of no formal argument presented by any Australian (except for a single relative of Bert Sachse) that pavlova really is Australian. The general Australians who think it is Australian probably simply assumed it was, because if it isn't French, Italian, English or American, well, I suppose it must be. A google search will probably reveal 1000s of sites saying Australians claim it is Australian. But then you look at the sites and they are journalistic type articles recounting the same general story that they apparently got from... other journalistic type articles! (Some are used as references on this page, like this one [1] - not that there's anything wrong with that.) I did a search of this type - admittedly a year or two ago - and really didn't find any flag waving sites/articles by any Australians claiming first hand that pavlova was Australian; it was mostly third party articles simply saying that Australians firmly insist it is Australian, and that they always argue with New Zealand over this. I suspect some Australians (and people in other countries, possibly) sometimes just assume that something personally familiar to them that isn't prevalent in international media is "uniquely Australian". (You can often find this thinking in wikipedia.) Things often thought to be Australian but kind of aren't really include the cooler, the barbecue, thongs, steak pie. Likewise I have heard people say things like "the phrase banana republic is an Australian phrase that means...". These are just assumptions/conclusions made with little thought, in my opinion. People simply assume it must be Australian because it exists in their own country, but wasn't mentioned every second episode in the endless reruns of The Brady Bunch that played continuously in Australia for 30 years. I do not know if a large proportion of Australian's really do have a strong sense of tradition regarding pavlova. This UK article (from 2005!) suggests this is the "latest" thing to divide Aust and NZ [2]. Format (talk) 00:18, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
In a few hours searching Google News Archive I did a quick scan of dozens of free news articles (didn't view the many subsciption only articles) that mention this dish. It seems the pavolva has been reported on several times in the United States, and has occasionaly been available in US restaurants, since the mid 1970s. Many articles say it is from, or is popular in, Australia. A number say it is from or is popular in, "Australia and New Zealand". A few say it is from "New Zealand". Occasionaly the dish is said to be from, or be popular, "Downunder". Some articles do not say where it originated. It is mentioned a few times as a recipe in Australian publications - most of which do not say where it is from or who invented it... Here is a random selections of articles: [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] - New York Times. [8] [9] [10] - New York Times. [11] - New York Times. [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] - pasties are not Australian but English. [22] [23] [24] [25] - This article claims it was created by a Syndey [sic] chef. [26] [27] - this 1963 article says the dish has no known link with the Russian Ballerina. [28] [29] - this 1962 Australian article calls Pavlova "our national dish", but observes how "Australian" items are hardly unique, as Pavlova is close to the French meringues in terms of preparation. ... So it seems the country of origin has not so much been hotly contested by Australia and New Zealand. I do not see much evidence of that. In many cases, and for several decades, comments of whether it is from Australia and/or New Zealand is a minor bit of trivia that appears in the lead-in to American recipe articles or restaurant reviews. Any rivalry seems only to be described in relatively recent articles, and usually UK and US articles. Format (talk) 06:26, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Hi Belfry, I'm afraid to say that any Australian viewpoint is going to be quickly shouted down by the fanatical Kiwi editors. As with the Phar Lap article, any viewpoint other than the accepted Kiwi doctrine just cannot be accepted. The New Zealand national identity is dependent on it. I have in the past attempted to point out to the Kiwi fanatics that the first pavlova recipe was merely a renaming of an existing recipe for the meringue cake, recipes of which were already widespread in NZ, Australia, Europe and the US. The fact is that the pavlova was not invented by anyone. A similar argument applies to the ANZAC biscuit, recipes of which existed in both NZ and Australia well before the name was first applied.Ernest the Sheep (talk) 06:59, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
If you'd care to look, my ovine friend, you will notice that the first "fanatical Kiwi editor" (sic) to comment on this thread agreed with Belfry. Please take your unwarranted anti-New Zealand sentiments elsewhere. Grutness...wha? 22:47, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Yeah right, despite your agreement you have done nothing to remove the irrelevant reference to ANZAC biscuits, nor have you removed the even more gratuitous reference to the NZ advertising campaign. I note that you've also been undoing the edits are made on the Australian cuisine article. I think your actions pretty much back up my comments. Ernest the Sheep (talk) 00:29, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
I agreed that more needs to be said about pavlova's role in the culture of Australia. How, exactly, does than not square with me removing "gratuitous references" to things completely unrelated to pavlova's role in the culture of Australia? And yes, I undid your change to Australian cuisine, which was vandalism - you took out valid references to a relevant point on the article. Grutness...wha? 00:12, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
The references I removed were of a poor quality. Mind you the majority of so called references quoted in Wikipedia are of a very low standard, so that is not saying much. However the particular references were presumably to support a contentious point, a point which it was not necessary to make as it is addressed in the individual articles on the pavlova and ANZAC biscuits. Hence my description of it as "gratuitous". Tell me, just why are you so desperate for those references to remain in the article? Ernest the Sheep (talk) 05:39, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
I've already explained at your user talk page why those references are necessary - they clarify the nature of the articles being mentioned in text; they ensure that editors can find relevant information outside Wikipedia on the articles mentioned; they show that any claims made are not original research; they help users find additional information on the topic; they improve Wikipedia's credibility by indicating that information about the topic has not been either deliberately or accidentally ignored in the writing of the article. All these are primary purposes of citations. Removal of such citations is vandalism without due reason. Listing certain food items as "unique" without making mention of the fact that they are not unique to Australia. Your reason for removing the references (in order to remove one weasel word) is disingenuous. In this case, the term is not a weasel word anyway - check Wikipedia:Avoid weasel words#Exceptions. The third example is a clear analogy of the current situation. Grutness...wha? 23:18, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
I read your so called explanations, they didn't make much sense to me I'm afraid. In fact I get the feeling that you are desperately clutching at straws in order to justify your silly knee-jerk reactions to any edit which I propose. I'm being disingenuous?? LOL, that is rich. Firstly the section in question was about iconic foods, as far as I could tell there was no implication that these foods were "unique" to Australia. I really have no idea how you arrived at such a conclusion. Well, maybe it's the New Zealand inferiority complex at work again, but I'll not go there because I know how sensitive some Kiwi editors get whenever it gets mentioned, the poor things. But back to your point, whatever it is, I'm still not sure exactly what you are on about. But if you think that anytime pavlova or ANZAC biscuits are mentioned in the context of Australia it is of vital importance to provide those references then your services are urgently required over at the Greek cuisine page, there is reference to Baklava without any mention of it being created first in Turkey. It could turn into an international crisis situation!! Ernest the Sheep (talk) 02:41, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
as far as I could tell there was no implication that these foods were "unique" to Australia??? The section header was "Unique and iconic Australian foods". What part of that fails to imply that the foods were both iconic and unique to Australia? Grutness...wha? 23:19, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
LOL, is that what has been troubling you? It does seem that you've got yourself all worked up over a very minor point. Why didn't you just change the section header if it really upset you that much, rather than getting into an edit war? My interpretation of the header was that it implied that the foods mentioned were either iconic or unique, but not necessarily both. For example the meat pie is not unique to Australia is it? I don't know why you would decide on such an interpretation, perhaps it's that New Zealand inferiority complex to blame, yet again. Ernest the Sheep (talk) 02:56, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
So you think that "unique and iconic" means "unique or iconic"? Interesting. Grutness...wha? 22:09, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
In the particular context in question, yes. I thought the meaning obvious, and am somewhat surprised that you could have interpreted it in such a way. I suppose it is possible to interpret it that way, but it seems a little unnatural. Ernest the Sheep (talk) 09:24, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
It seems both surprising and illogical that you should interpret "and" as meaning anything other than "and", in this or any other context. Seems unnatural and highly unlikely to consider that "A and B" should mean "A or B". Grutness...wha? 23:05, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
As I said, it's a matter of context, it hardly seems a point worth arguing. How would you interpret the meaning of "and" in the phrase "green and red apples"? Ernest the Sheep (talk) 02:29, 1 December 2009 (UTC)


The only rational I can see for including the reference to Anzac biscuits in this article is (petty) nationalistic debate--no pavlova I've ever eaten had a crumbled Anzac biscuit crust. Stevebeck (talk) 14:54, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Indeed, there is no reason to include any mention of ANZAC biscuits in the article. I have made mention of this previously, but to no avail. The problem is Kiwi editors and their nationalistic agenda -they have gone berserk with power and there is no way of reasoning with them. But we shouldn't be too harsh on them, it is really the massive New Zealand inferiority complex that is to blame, the Kiwi editors can't help themselves. Quite sad, really. Ernest the Sheep (talk) 19:00, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Rewrite of article[edit]

I intend to expand upon/rewrite some of this article in order to clarify some facts and correct a few inaccuracies. This will obviously be somewhat contentious, so I will trial any material here for comment and discussion. The reference for this will be the book 'The Pavlova Story' by Helen Leach. Here's my first submission -comments and criticisms welcome.

  • History

The pavlova is characterised by its crispy outer crust and soft inner centre. This is achieved by the addition of key ingredients of cornflour and vinegar, combined with a slow baking time. Until recently it was believed that by the addition of these ingredients the pavlova emerged from the general class of meringue cake recipes, which were thought to have lacked these ingredients. However more recent research by Helen Leach indicates that this was not in fact the case. Recipes for large meringue cakes which included the ingredients cornflour and vinegar existed prior to the first known published recipe for pavlova cake. In her book Leach concludes “Pavlova cakes emerged from meringue cakes not, as most of us formerly supposed, by the addition of key ingredients (cornflour, vinegar) believed to have been absent from meringue cake recipes, but by the simple act of renaming”. Leach points out that in New Zealand meringue cakes continued to exist under their own name side by side with pavlovas for the next two decades.

  • First named pavlova cake

The most recent research by Helen Leach points to ‘Festival’s’ Pavlova Cake as the first known published recipe for a meringue cake with the name ‘pavlova’. It was published in the ‘N.Z. Diary Exporter Annual (Inc. Tui’s Annual)' in 1929, and consisted of two crisp meringue layers sandwiched together and topped with cream.

Ernest the Sheep (talk) 22:43, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Welcome back (honestly!) Though I agree that some of the changes you're suggesting are worthwhile, I think it should be woven in with the current section rather than being used as a complete rewrite. Your suggestion completely removes any reference to the purported Australian origins, which - though they may not be the first - are important to the history of the development and culture of pavlova as a national dish in both coutries. It also relies too heavily on one source, albeit the most thorough one, whereas currently several sources are used. May I suggest the following mix of the current and proposed sections?
  • History
Current research suggests the pavlova originated in New Zealand.[6] Keith Money, a biographer of Anna Pavlova, wrote that a New Zealand chef in a hotel in Wellington, New Zealand, created the dish when Pavlova visited there in 1926 on her world tour.[7]
Until recently it was believed that by the addition of the key ingredients of cornflour and vinegar, the pavlova emerged from the general class of meringue cake recipes, which were thought to have lacked these ingredients. It is these ingredients, in addition to the slow baking time, which give pavlova its characteristic crisp outer and soft inner consistency. More recent research into the history of the pavlova by Professor Helen Leach, a culinary anthropologist at the University of Otago in New Zealand, suggests that this is not the case. Recipes for large meringue cakes which included the ingredients cornflour and vinegar existed prior to the first known published recipe for pavlova cake. In her book Leach concludes “Pavlova cakes emerged from meringue cakes not, as most of us formerly supposed, by the addition of key ingredients (cornflour, vinegar) believed to have been absent from meringue cake recipes, but by the simple act of renaming”.
Leach points out that in New Zealand meringue cakes continued to exist under their own name side by side with pavlovas for the next two decades. Leach has compiled a library of cookbooks containing 667 pavlova recipes from more than 300 sources. [6] Her book, The Pavlova Story: A Slice of New Zealand’s Culinary History, contains a timeline of pavlova history which gives 1935 for the first Australian pavlova recipe and 1929[2] for the recipe in the rural magazine NZ Dairy Exporter Annual.[1]
It has been claimed that Bert Sachse originated the dish at the Esplanade Hotel in Perth, Australia in 1935.[9][6] A relative of Sachse's wrote to Leach suggesting that Sachse possibly got the year wrong when dating the recipe, but Leach expressed doubt, "simply because it's just not showing up in the cookbooks until really the 1940s in Australia." Of such arguments Matthew Evans, a restaurant critic for The Sydney Morning Herald said it was unlikely a definitive answer about the pavlova's origins would ever be found. "People have been doing meringue with cream for a long time, I don't think Australia or New Zealand were the first to think of doing that," he said.[10]
  • First named pavlova cake
The most recent research by Helen Leach points to ‘Festival’s’ Pavlova Cake as the first known published recipe for a meringue cake with the name ‘pavlova’. It was published in the ‘N.Z. Diary Exporter Annual (Inc. Tui’s Annual)' in 1929, and consisted of two crisp meringue layers sandwiched together and topped with cream.
Grutness...wha? 23:49, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
I'd want something somewhat more notable than a cook book, even one with an apparently historical subtext. There is plainly evidence of this calibre available in support of both sides, thus if nothing stronger can be offered I suggest it's simply left as a matter of contention (something I think is plainly obvious) between the two nations. (talk) 02:13, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Leach's work is a history. Naturally, the history of a recipe uses cookbooks as sources. You are welcome to find other sources, but deleting sources from the article is vandalism.-gadfium 02:29, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

NZI advertising campaign[edit]

Is this section a joke? Please explain because it makes no sense to me. It is blatant POV. It is not relevant to an encyclopedia article about a dessert. It might be relevant in an article called "New Zealand's many issues with Australia". - Josette (talk) 08:57, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

It really isn't POV at all, let alone "blatant", simply asserting it is, is not an argument. It doesn't make any assertions for it to possibly be POV. Except that the advertising campaign exists and the details about it. This appears to be confusing the subject discussed with the article itself. Heck, as it notes, the parent company is even Australian owned...
Now, to be fair, you could argue it doesn't contain enough information for it's own dedicated main section, however the information is relevant and a notable overt example of Pavlova's wider cultural place, as explained in the edit summaries, so does fit within the article. So one small change I might suggest is a merge of both this and the Pavzilla section under something like the title 'Pavlova in culture' or 'As a cultural icon' or something, with separated sub-sections. This would also open up the possibility of someone fleshing the section out at some point with more from both NZ and Aus.
Really not sure where you're getting the mistaken idea that New Zealand has any issue with Australia, but it's not especially relevant to a discussion the sole purpose of which is improving an article in Wikipedia so let's put that aside and speak no more of it, as already amply demonstrated on this discussion page this sort of jingonistic comment on other editor's nationalities and motivations is not conducive to progress. (talk) 12:35, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
And you are using a Youtube video to source this information? - Josette (talk) 16:37, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm removing the Youtube link for copyright reasons, following Josette's post on WP:RSN. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:43, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
right... mebbe == Pav in corporate adverts == ;) Jack Merridew 17:45, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
This is unsourced PR Guff re a corporate advert wrapped in a nationalistic POV; I've removed it again, as unsourced material. Cheers, Jack Merridew 17:42, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Remove source → then remove as unsourced ignoring ongoing discussion; brilliant ;) . Never mind, the source appeared to merely be included as a reference for the existence of the ad campaign anyway, which I assume isn't disputed. If you want to view it that way, then it's the perception of the pav as a nationalistic icon that this campaign plays on which makes it noteworthy to the article. It is not POV to discuss this perception in the article. I have changed the text of the section also removing the ref to Pharlap, and implemented my suggestion to merge as sub-sections under a title of 'In Culture', and replaced the citation with one that mentions both the aspect of the trans-Tasman rivalry, pavlova, and NZI being Australian owned. I hope that other examples of pavlova's iconic place in the culture of both countries can be added under this heading. (talk) 21:32, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
I think the section is silly trivia, and not especially useful or relevant in this article. Even before seeing Josette's comment I was going to joke that we should start a new article about how some New Zealanders have a persecution complex whereby Australia tries to "steal" anything good from New Zealand, claiming it to be Australian. Did Australia "steal" Crowded House? No, Neil Finn chose to live in Australia and chose to start the band in Australia. Australia did not ask him to move here. Finn adopted Australia, not the other way around. With Phar Lap the NZ owner voluntarily sold him to someone who was to train him in Australia. Australia did not coerce the seller into giving up the horse. Australia did not steal or even claim the horse, a single buyer gained ownership legally and brought him here. ... ps. Is Flight of the Conchords (TV series) an American TV series? Or is it a New Zealand TV series? Format (talk) 18:37, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
You are confusing the subject discussed with the article itself, the article does not assert that any country 'stole' anything, it is describing the campaign. Which for that matter is clearly playing on ubiquitous subjects of the long standing friendly rivalry between the two countries, not some sort of nationlistic propaganda. It's an Australian owned company for goodness sake. As I said before, this kind of comment about the nationalities and motivations of other editors is not helpful or relevant. (talk) 21:32, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
So why promote that kind of bias by insisting that information stay in the article? It seems to be more about sour grapes then meringue. - Josette (talk) 21:57, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't see merely discussing the existance of something equates to promoting it. Not that I agree this campaign is actually portraying a bias in any case, as I said, it's clear from the context that it's merely playing on the ubiquitous subjects of a long standing friendly rivalry and how they are viewed within the culture of New Zealand. (talk) 22:12, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
I do think the changes made are an improvement. Seems progress was made. - Josette (talk) 23:55, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Oxford English Dictionary and MSN article relating to it[edit]

Maybe of import. Article just appeared on MSN here, re the relaunched online Oxford English Dictionary stating that the first recorded pavlova recipe was from 1927 in 'Davis Dainty Dishes' a publication by Davis Gelatine in New Zealand. It's also one of the featured articles on the MSN NZ homepage.Number36 (talk) 04:17, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

That's a very sketchy sort of an article. I suspect it might just be another example of Kiwis getting a little over excited. I would like to see the full text of the entry. As far as I know the Davis Gelatine recipe is, as would be expected, a Gelatine Pavlova, nothing at all like the modern day version. Also I believe the recipe was first published by Davis Gelatine in their 1926 Australian edition. This is all according to Prof Helen Leach's book, which should be treated as gold standard. Of course the Oxford Dictionary is concerned with the origin of the word, not necessarily who created the dish. Ernest the Sheep (talk) 04:50, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
'Kiwis' plural? It doesn't take that many people to write an article ;) Whether or not the article is sketchy, that the Oxford English Dictionary has included this information seems relevant, and being reported by a third party gives it some notability; so I mentioned the article because I suspected someone would see it, then come here to edit the article, and I thought it should be discussed how best to include it or not first.
I wondered if the info might come from Helen Leach's book, and you make the very valid point that the dictionary is going to be discussing the origin and etymology of the word itself, as opposed to specifically the modern Pavlova, defined by its recipe, which is the primary subject of this article. So perhaps it shouldn't be included in the article (I see someone has added it since yesterday)... or else somehow incorporated into the history section as a comment about the origin of the word itself. Which might prevent people mistakenly re-adding it as the origin of the pavlova without context. Or maybe removed altogether until someone at least actually looks at the entry itself.Number36 (talk) 19:41, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
yes, Kiwis is the plural of Kiwi. As I said, Kiwis are easily excited. I wouldn't be surprised if the so called new edit in the Oxford dictionary turns out to be the exact same one as in the past. If the year they give is 1927 then it would seem that the information did not come from Helen Leach's book. As you point out, an excitable Kiwi has already added it to the article. I'd delete it myself, but some tosser would no doubt undo it. Perhaps you would like to delete it? I'm on a 1RR restriction so can't afford to get into an edit war. Ernest the Sheep (talk) 22:31, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I think you may have missed a winking smiley there, you really shouldn't take one article as representative of anything. Mildly surprised you'd think Kiwis were excitable in any case, especially when you've got Aussies for comparison :p I can't help but think about my Australian in-laws at this point for some reason...
Anyhoo, back on topic. I don't think the person who added the information was being particularly excitable, on the face of it the article presents what seems to be new information relevant to the subject of this page. I'm happy to remove it for the reasons we've discussed here in any case.Number36 (talk) 23:50, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
We'll have to disagree then. In my experience Kiwis are in fact very easily excited. This is now the umteenth occasion on which Kiwis have claimed victory in this debate. But there is no new information contained in the Oxford Dictionary entry I can see. Indeed it might even be in error. The Davis Gelatine recipes are known, I think they might have even been mentioned in a previous edit of the article, I'm not sure. Anyway, what is of interest is the date of 1927 the Oxford Dictionary is stating, apparently. I've not seen the entry so can only go on articles in the media. But if 1927 is being given as the date for the first published Davis Gelatine recipe then maybe someone should get in touch with Prof Leach to see if she still stands by the date of 1926 quoted in her book. Ernest the Sheep (talk) 01:26, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
This article sums things up well [30]: Leach concludes that the recipe referred to by the Oxford Dictionary is actually a gelatine dessert, not a meringue cake. A large meringue cake first appeared in a NZ cook book in 1929. There's no news here but I'm sure it was nice for all those journalists to try out their "whipped", "creamed", "egg on your face" puns. (BTW A New Zealander is now declaring that the Kiwifruit is from New Zealand! [31]) Format (talk) 21:55, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
That's what we thought with the reference to gelatine, though as said earlier, a dictionary is going to be more concerned with the word than the specific recipe, so it's not as big a deal as they're making it out to be (personally I think what it really shows is that it's a slow news week). It might be worth a note 'earliest use of the word for a dessert was in such-and-such year, but was for a different recipe' or something, but I think someone should at least look at the OED before anything is added to see what it actually says.
Oh & that New Zealander didn't declare kiwifruit originally came from New Zealand Format, he only jokingly said that next Australians would be claiming it, and a lot of Aussies got all excitable ;) Though I was amused by the Australian 'expert' in the article who doesn't know we have passionfruit in New Zealand and thinks we make them in pans.Number36 (talk) 03:56, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Getting way off topic but one NZ commenter does say "our kiwifruit". Margaret Fulton was famous for cook books and cooking show appearances in the 1970s-80s. A TV celebrity essentially. I wouldn't call her an expert in the way Leach is. Her pavlova comments aside, the passionfruit comments are just laughable. Meringue is centuries old, like from before any Western people set foot in AU/NZ. I agree, slow news week. Format (talk) 04:29, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

<re-indent>She just seems to be mirroring Hulton's claim that putting 'your' passionfruit on it proves it's Australian, saying neither would be a valid argument. Though kiwifruit is closely associated with New Zealand, we've been cultivating & developing unique varieties of it for over a hundred years, zespri kiwifruit for example can be said to be 'our kiwifruit', we're also one of the top two producers in the world and its name is connected to our native fauna/national nickname. But you're right we're getting a bit off track & franky I prefer strawberries anyway. Back to the article, I bet Prof. Leach was 'amused' when this story 'broke', I wonder if there was any publicity like this back when she published her book? Could be a source of refs if there are any old articles floating around in archives. You'd think a whole book would be a bit more note-worthy than one minor entry in a dictonary.Number36 (talk) 20:23, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Yes it must be a little annoying for Helen Leach to read this news "revelation" - when really it is essentially a trivial media beat up on a slow news day. Leach seems to have nailed the issue, yet "new" information like this keeps popping up. At least the subsequent reports quote her, and she clears things up. I'm pretty sure that at one point this WP article did mention an old/older "pavlova" recipe, but that it was a gelatine dessert. It's all old news. (Personally I can't stand clumbly desserts... can't stand elevator music either.) Format (talk) 07:20, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I just noticed Margaret Fulton is featured in print and television advertisements for a certain overpriced Australian supermarket, in which she serves a large, grotesque pavlova topped with cherries. Maybe she's eagerly chiming in with these bold press comments to ensure she remains a bankable spokeswoman on the topic and will continue to feature in these lucrative adverts? Format (talk) 20:08, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Examples of celebratory and holiday meals[edit]

Noticed the last couple of edits before mine; an IP adding 'New Years Day brunch' as an example alongside the already present Christmas lunch, someone removing it as unnecessary and the IP re-adding it with an argument in the edit summary that 'examples can serve to illustrate various occasions it can be consumed'. Which made me wonder if either example was actually necessary, 'celebratory or holiday meal' doesn't seem like a difficult concept which needs extensive illustrating. Though I could see an argument that it flows better with at least one example or maybe two, but 'New Years Day Brunch' might not be the best choice for a second example, it doesn't really seem like a traditional or particularly notable 'celebratory or holiday meal' but even with that aside it's another example of a holiday meal which already has Christmas dinner to illustrate it, so perhaps as an alternative 'birthday party' would be more suitable as an example of a celebratory occasion on which they are commonly served?Number36 (talk) 21:13, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

I do not see "New Years Day Brunch" as a celebratory meal - there is no tradition of any type of celebratory meal on New Year's Day as far as I know. I agree that "celebratory or holiday meal" is enough and that really examples are not needed. BTW In my experience pavlova is not really part of an Australian Christmas Day meal, it is simply something that tends to be served at large gatherings any time over summer. In contrast a Christmas pudding would always be served on Christmas Day, but less likely served any other day, and so is more a Christmas dish. Format (talk) 07:03, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Okay, well I agree with that (other than the fact that I'd be very disappointed if I didn't get pav on christmas day) and there's been no further input in the last month so I'll go ahead and remove the examples.Number36 (talk) 21:41, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

My proposed edit[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians. I have attempted a couple of edits to the article. On both occassions my edits were quickly reversed. As far as I can see, for no valid reason. I included a source to justify my edit. My proposed edit and quoted source would seem to fit in with the general feel of the article, at least as far as I can tell. My edit also provided a correction to a misleading statement included in the article. Although I don't feel the onus should be on me to spell out my source word for word, for the benefit of those who don't have access to the book by Prof Leach I'll do it on this occasion. On page 45 Prof Leach writes:

"There are fifty-two desserts in the sixth New Zealand edition of Davis Dainty Dishes (1927), and only one is named after the famous performer. Something must have prompted the Davis Gelatine Company's decision to create a new jelly in honour of Anna Pavlova. The recipe first appeared in the fifth Australian edition of Davis Dainty Dishes in 1926, the year Anna Pavlova visited Australia and New Zealand. It is likely that the reccipe was developed at the Botany Bay factory opened by Davis Gelatine in Jan 1999."

And on page 154, in a pavlova timeline box, in the entry for the year 1926 it is stated

"Davis gelatine publishes recipe for Gelatine Pavlova in Australia"

I hope that will be enough to satisfy any doubters.Theodore D (talk) 09:32, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

I can confirm that this is what appears in Leach's book (apart from a few minor typos you made: she says "only one is named after a famous performer", a misspelling of recipe, and the factory opened in January 1919). My concern is that you appear to be changing the emphasis of the article by minimising the difference between the gelatine dessert and the meringue dish.
I suggest that the article needs to distinguish better between
  1. the meringue with cream dishes which were not named "Pavlova", such as Emily Futton's 1926 recipe, but which go much further back;
  2. the gelatine recipes called "Pavlova";
  3. the meringue recipes called "Pavlova" which are similar to modern recipes.
Leach does not mention Keith Money's reference to a 1926 dish as far as I can see; it's not clear from our reference [32] whether this was named after the dancer or just created in her honour. Presumably it belongs in category 1.
The first of the meringue Pavlova recipes identified by Leach was published by Rose Rutherford in 1928 in the Weekly Press (See Leach pp 57-59), but our article only refers to its 1929 publication in a "rural magazine" which references a 2004 interview by Leach [33]. Leach's book, written in 2008, says the 1929 publication was actually in a book, Practical Home Cookery Chats and Recipes by Katrine McKay. I'm not sure what the "rural magazine" was - probably not the Weekly Press, which was published in Christchurch.-gadfium 00:02, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Prof Leach does mention an unconfirmed story that a wellington chef named a new type of meringue cake 'pavlova' at the time of Pavlova's visit in 1926. That's probably the source of Money's reference. Similar stories exist for Pavlova's Australian visit. Prof Leach says that, although plausible, there is nothing to link the stories with any printed recipes. I suspect these stories could be urban myths (that's my opinion).
According to Prof Leach the Pavlova Cake published in the NZ Dairy Exporter Annual in October 1929 is the first current recipe for the pavlova as we know it today.
The previous article did distinguish between the various incarnations of the pavlova. But, now that it appears the first recipe called "pavlova" might have originated from Australia, feel free to over emphasize the point if you must.
I'm going to revert the article back to my first edit, which specifically mentions that the Oxford Dictionary is in error. I thought that was a good edit, just the sort of thing Wikipedia should be about. It might even help the OED to get their act together! Theodore D (talk) 05:17, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

References in the summary section[edit]

Opinions sort on 3 issues:

1. I removed part of a sentence and it was undone. Those words I removed were "...but formal research indicates New Zealand as the more probable source". Upon reconsideration, the use of the term "formal research" and word "probable" in the same sentence is conflicting & poor use of the English language. Suggestion, the sentence needs a rework or deletion.

2. Stemming from issue (1) above, has the book by Leach (2008) undergone a Peer review or is it Reference work? If neither, the words "formal research" will be replaced with the word "opinions" if that part of the sentence is not deleted. Additional referencing to this sentence that is contra to Leach (2008) confirms a change is needed.

3. The section above the Table of Contents is meant to be a summary of what follows, even if references are duplicated. This article can be much better.

If no thoughtful replies are received relating to issue (1) and/or (2), issue (1) MAY be actioned in the way of deletion to that part of the sentence.Factrules (talk) 02:15, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

You say you "removed part of a sentence and it was undone". You neglect to say the part you removed is referenced and has been for a long time. Leach's book is a RS, but it is moons since I read it so I can't say whether we should actually have a direct quote instead of paraphrasing. Moriori (talk) 04:00, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Moriori, Help me out, what does RS mean? Additionally, just because something has existed for a while doesn't make it correct. Factrules (talk) 04:17, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Leach's work is a well-referenced non-fiction book by an anthropologist with a specialty in human diet and history of recipies,[34] and therefore an entirely suitable reference for this article. If you have examples of other books by similarly qualified authors which contradict Leach's book, please cite them. Your question seems a little confused, since most non-fiction books are not peer-reviewed, nor are they reference works in the sense of the link you added.-gadfium 04:32, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
If the term "formal research" was not in that sentence I would not have raised any of this. Formal research indicates there has been a Peer review or is it Reference work. You state that it is a "well-referenced" book, I assume that means the same as "formal research". Therefore, there must be no doubts to the original of Pavlova. But the word "probable" should be omitted from that sentence as it indicates doubt and is a challenge an apparent fact.
Tangent: "most non-fiction books are not peer-reviewed", I know as I have picked up on many errors over the years. Many authors don't like me as a result. Mentioning something in a book doesn't make it historically correct. Factrules (talk) 04:52, 8 July 2011 (UTC)


From the OED, 1989 edition


Austral. and N.Z. [f. the name of Anna Pavlova (1885–1931), Russian ballerina.] A dessert or cake, now usually one made with meringue, whipped cream, and fruit. Also attrib. 1927 Davis Dainty Dishes (ed. 6) (Davis Gelatine, N.Z., Ltd.) Pavlova. Dissolve all but a teaspoonful of Gelatine in the hot water, and all the sugar except a dessertspoonful [etc.]. "

so that NZ news report mentioned in the main article is only a couple of decades out of date! Theodore D (talk) 04:23, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Origins of the name[edit]

Isn't the cake named in honour of Anna Pavlova, as the article says, because it was a favourite dessert of hers? ACEOREVIVED (talk) 16:55, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Named to honour her, but to the best of our knowledge not because it was her favourite dish. (It didn't exist before her downunder tour/s so it couldn't have been her favourite dish before it was invented and named). Her article says "The Pavlova dessert is believed to have been created in honour of the dancer...... ". Moriori (talk) 20:34, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Cornflour myth[edit]

article states "The major difference between the pavlova and a large meringue is the addition of cornflour, which results in the pavlova having a crisp and crunchy outer shell, and a soft, moist marshmallow-like centre, unlike meringue which is usually solid throughout." This is plain wrong, as any accurate reading of Prof Leach's book would confirm. Indeed, neither vinegar or cornflour are necessary to achieve the desired crisp crust and soft centre. This can be obtained with a suitable proportion of sugar per egg white, added gradually, and a longer cooking time. The addition of vinegar will improve the quality of the meringue, while cornflour will, if a small quantity of water is also included in the recipe, enhance the marshmallow effect. It should also be added that the 1929 'pavlova' recipe referenced in the artice is simply a re-named meringue cake recipe, such dishes being fairly common at the time. Theodore D (talk) 19:45, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Cornstarch, perhaps?[edit]

Pardon me, but I would think that if you were going to include corn-anything in the pavlova shell, cornstarch--starch from maize--would be the product to use, and not cornflour--flour from ground maize. Is cornflour the down under term for cornstarch? Rootlet (talk) 05:52, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

Dunno, but cornflour is the is the name of the product used in Australia and NZ. Is cornstarch the American term for cornflour? HiLo48 (talk) 05:59, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, US cornstarch = Aus cornflour. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:19, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

first Edmonds' pavlova recipe 1939[edit]

3 egg whites, 1 tsp essence of vanilla, 9 oz. castor sugar, 1 tsp vinegar, pinch of salt

Beat egg whites until quite stiff, fold in sugar, add vanilla and vinegar. Place on greased paper on greased tray and bake slowly about 1 to 1 ½ hours. (very slow oven 250 F). Pile whipped cream and chopped fruit on top and decorate with Edmonds jelly (chopped). Theodore D (talk) 02:36, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

confusion still reigns[edit]

In the main article it is stated "The nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two nations for many years, but formal research indicates New Zealand as the source". This appears to indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the facts. It is also not supported by Prof Leach's book which is cited as the reference for the claim. Certainly no page number is indicated. In fact the dispelling of the "myth of the heroic inventor" is one of the central themes of the book. But it does require a thorough reading of the text, and I suspect few in here have gone to that trouble, at least judging by some of the contents of the article. As I pointed out above, and illustrated by citing the first Edmonds' recipe, the inclusion of cornflour is not what separates the pavlova from the large meringue. Large meringues with cornflour as an ingredient existed side by side with pavlova recipes. As Prof Leach has pointed out in her book, these first recipes called 'pavlova' were simply recipes for a large meringue cake renamed 'pavlova'. The 1929 recipe, ‘Festival’s’ Pavlova Cake, is simply a double layered meringue cake sandwiched and topped with cream. What we can say about this 1929 recipe is that it is the earliest example of a large meringue cake renamed as 'pavlova'. What appears to be less well known is that recipes for a large meringue cakes with vinegar as an ingredient (as with the Edmonds' first recipe) can be found in American cookbooks over a decade before the "Meringue with Fruit Filling" of 1926, which some have mistakenly called a prototype of the pavlova. Hopefully, with time, nationalistic sentiment will give way to accuracy, and this article can be written to more accurately reflect the story of the 'pavlova'. Theodore D (talk) 23:03, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

more on creation myth[edit]

Quote from food historian Michael Symons very nicely sums up the situation: "In the 1920s and 30s, numerous large meringue cake recipes, and the pavlova name, circulated in both countries. After two or three decades, everyone gained an idea of the "real" pavlova, so expected some "original" recipe that never existed." Theodore D (talk) 21:28, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

While I understand the point, there has to have been a first recipe that corresponds to the modern concept of a pavlova. I mean just by cause and effect. It may've evolved from similar recipes and the demarcation point might be difficult to establish, but there was at some point a recipe that was first one which matches the modern recipe, i.e. an original recipe. Similar recipes or desserts that may have used the name pavlova at the time, while maybe noteworthy, are not the subject of the article.Number36 (talk) 23:10, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
You'd need to first define what you mean by the modern recipe. Perhaps one that includes both cornflour and vinegar? But then there are going to be recipes that are exceptions to that rule, such as the first Edmonds' recipe I gave above. The point is that there was no single instant of creation, rather the story of the 'pavlova' is one of evolution. In fact, the very first example of a meringue dish named 'pavlova' is Rose Rutherford's little Pavlova Cakes of 1928. But this seems to be somewhat discounted now because these were small meringues rather than a single large meringue. Yet nowadays we do recognise variation within the 'pavlova'. For example the mini pavlova, or the more extreme pavlova roll. During the 1930s there were a variety of meringue dishes with different names such as 'Meringue Cake', 'Meringue Cream Cake', 'Marshmallow Meringue', 'Meringue Gateau' which existed alongside the 'Pavlova'. The 'modern' pavlova evolved out of these dishes. For example if you had never heard of the pavlova and presented a recipe for Meringue Gateau to your dinner party guests, then it is more than likely they would inform you that this was in fact a 'pavlova'. So with time all these recipes eventually merged into the one strand we now call the 'pavlova'. (This might be a little bit of a simplification, but it does illustrate the concept of evolution rather than creation). Theodore D (talk) 20:29, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't personally have to define what I mean by the current recipe, rather it's what Reliable Sources™ define it as, and as you wrote above in the 'My proposed edit' section, Professor Leach does do this, and gives the earliest example. Also even though it is an evolution, there still has to be a first recipe that conforms to whatever criteria you like for the modern recipe. A variation is a variation, so not by definition the standard recipe.Number36 (talk) 21:41, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand what you are on about here. I am not aware of a set 'criteria' defining the 'modern' recipe. But if you could specifiy such a criteria then it would be helpful for the discussion. Recipes will always vary. If you want you might like to select the first large meringue cake to be renamed 'pavlova' as the moment of 'creation'. The earliest known instance is the 1929 recipe, ‘Festival’s’ Pavlova Cake. Theodore D (talk) 23:02, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
The point was that for any criteria which you might use, there would be a first recipe that conformed to the definition which matched them. But as I said, only what reliable sources state is relevant though, it's not up to me to specify the criteria which define the current pavolva, fortunately as you have pointed out Prof. Leach does give us this as the first example of the current recipe.Number36 (talk) 23:41, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
which recipe are you referring to? Theodore D (talk) 00:06, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
The same one you're referring to, the 1929 recipe.Number36 (talk) 00:20, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
that 1929 recipe is a double layered meringue cake, sandwiched and topped with cream. In fact there is a little conjecture as to whether it has a soft or crisp centre. I'm not sure whether it would be recognisable nowadays as a 'modern' recipe. But you're missing the point. Double layered (and indeed single layered) meringue cakes already existed as this time. The 1929 recipe is simply such a cake renamed as 'pavlova'. Theodore D (talk) 00:41, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
You state in the section above "According to Prof Leach the Pavlova Cake published in the NZ Dairy Exporter Annual in October 1929 is the first current recipe for the pavlova as we know it today."Number36 (talk) 02:05, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
yeah, slightly ambiguous that. But it is, in the sense that it is a large meringue cake. Most would recognise such a dish as falling within a reasonable definition of what a pavlova should be. The information missing is that such dishes existed prior to this, and the 1929 recipe is significant only as the first known example of a large meringue cake to be renamed as pavlova. But in itself this recipe could not be considered a new creation. Theodore D (talk) 02:50, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Okay. What is the reference and wording of the reference, for the earlier recipes being the identical to the 1929 pavlova? And also just to clarify does Prof. Leach state that the 1929 recipe was the first example of the current pavlova as we know it today.Number36 (talk) 04:47, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
pg. 77 of Prof Leach's book has a recipe for a Meringue Cake from 1927. It is a 3 egg white meringue rather than the 4 of the 1929 recipe, but it is basically the same thing. The 1927 recipe might be just about the earliest from NZ which includes cornflour or vinegar as an ingedient. However large meringue cakes which included vinegar as an ingredient can be found in American cookbooks for up to a decade prior to their appearance in NZ. Theodore D (talk) 06:12, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Wait, are you saying they're basically the same thing, or does a RS reference? Also where is the ref relating to your assertion about the American cookbooks? Is this OR/Synth, or do you have a ref that discusses them in this context. Also again, to clarify, does Prof. Leach, state that the 1929 recipe was the first example of the current pavlova as we know it today? As you stated she did earlier. That doesn't really sound like an ambiguous statement if so.Number36 (talk) 07:16, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
pg. 81 of Prof Leach's book "Pavlova cakes emerged from meringue cakes not, as most of us formerly supposed, by the addition of key ingredients (cornflour, vinegar) believed to have been absent from meringue cake recipes, but by a simple act of renaming. In New Zealand, meringue cakes continued to exist under their old name, side by side with pavlovas, for the next two decades, and their recipes are entirely comparable to those of pavlova cakes". Theodore D (talk) 19:27, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Now we're getting somewhere :), that seems like something that should indeed be added to the article. Now that's established, does she have anything to say about the origins of 'Meringue cakes'? Are they then identical as this would seem to indicate at the beginning or merely comparable? Is it indicating that they diverged with the naming in some respect, so as to exist 'side by side', or simply that some people called them meringue cakes whilst others called them pavlovas? Also what was the wording of the ref that you, others, and the article, based the statement about the 1929 recipe being the first example of the current recipe then?Number36 (talk) 19:51, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Also, just googling meringue cake now there seems to be a variety of different similar things at this point which use that name, could it be that meringue cake was a general term of which this proto-Pav was simply one type?Number36 (talk) 19:59, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
yes, there are some recipes called Meringue Cake that consisted of a sponge cake with a meringue topping. In our context we are referring to meringue only dishes (some of which could have a name other than 'Meringue cake'). According to Prof Leach's book the type of Meringue Cake we are interested in first appears in NZ cookbooks in the 1920s. However, this category of large meringue used as a cake can be traced back to nineteenth-century North America and Europe (pg 77 of Prof Leach's book). The emphasis on the 1929 recipe Festival's 'Pavlova Cake' as the first example of a meringue cake to be named pavlova is mine, although it is a fairly obvious conclusion from the book. However, I probably should add that this cake was more likely to be crisp rather than soft centred, and the 1933 recipe Laurina Stevens' 'Pavlova Cake' is closer to the modern ideal of a pavlova. I think by comparable we mean of the same kind, but there will be variation within recipes, as there is variation in pavlova recipes. Theodore D (talk) 22:52, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Okay, sounds like you've got the basis for some referenced edits to the article as it stands then. What do you propose? Also does she go into any further relevant detail about the 18thC recipes for meringue cake from North America and Europe, where they originated, earliest examples, similarity to modern Pavlova recipes, etc?Number36 (talk) 23:06, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Illustration of how pavlova cakes and meringue cakes existed side by side. [35], [36], [37], [38], [39], [40], [41], [42], [43]. pavlova-type dishes of interest are 'Meringue Cake', 'Meringue Gateau', 'Meringue Cream Cake', 'Marshmallow Cake'.Theodore D (talk) 20:44, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

recent academic article[edit]

[44], not avaliable for free download alas, but does give an alternative view to the singular creation myth being pushed by the wikipedia article. Theodore D (talk) 19:41, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Herbert Sachse's original recipe[edit]

here's Bert's pavlova recipe (purported to be at least) from 1935 [45]. If this is indeed correct then it may well be the first example of a pavlova which used both vinegar and cornflour (and even cream of tartar). It is to be cooked in a tin, so it is not quite the classic free-form pavlova, but nevertheless is looks to be a not insignificant development on what was before. Theodore D (talk) 05:42, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Unfortunately we can't really draw conclusions like that, per WP:OR. You seemed to be onto something with the above quotes from Prof Leach's book though, but you didn't give an answer on what your proposed addition to the article using them as support refs would be.Number36 (talk) 08:04, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

How to make the perfect pav[edit]

this article [46] gives interesting (and maybe correct?) explanation of roles of various ingredients in a pav. Theodore D (talk) 05:49, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

meringue (or pavlova) cakes[edit]

further illustation that pavlova was really just an alternative name for meringue cakes [47]. While this pavlova sponge [48] could possibly be a renamed 'foam torte', which can be found in jewish cookery books. Theodore D (talk) 23:59, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

gotta say the lack of feedback on all this stuff I've presented is a bit disappointing. Perhaps people do not want to hear about it? Theodore D (talk) 21:14, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Claim in Keith Money's book[edit]

Keith Money's biography of Anna Pavlova was published in 1982, well before research began into the origins of the dessert. Money's description of this alleged first pavlova would seems to fall into the category of what people would expect the original recipe to have been, based on their idea of the "real" pavlova that exists today (or in 1982). This first recipe apparently included kiwifruit (then called a Chinese gooseberry), so it was certainly a recipe well ahead of its time, if indeed it existed. However, there exists no verifiable source for the claims. Money, a New Zealander, writes that he knew the name Pavlova as he grew up in NZ, "the country that produced the cake which carries her name". Given the year was 1982, that claim would appear to be based on hearsay. Theodore D (talk) 03:03, 14 July 2012 (UTC)


According to the opening paragraph in the origin section "Research shows the recipe originated in New Zealand". This is an incorrect statement. It is not supported by the reference cited. As I've mentioned many times before, Prof Leach in her book emphasizes evolution, not creation. There was no original recipe, there would instead probably be a moment when a large meringue cake was first given the name pavlova. That should be made clear in the article. Indeed, the first recorded example of a large meringue cake given the name is 'Festival's' Pavlova (1929). Here is that recipe, Whites of 4 eggs beaten very stiff, add 4 large tablespoons sugar. Beat and lastly add 1/2 tablespoon cornflour. Bake in very slow oven in greased sandwhich tins, and make filling of cream chopped nuts and cherries.-Festival. Here is another recipe, from a publication called The Portland Woman's Exchange Cook Book (1913). Beat well the whites of 6 eggs; add 2 cups of granulated sugar; beat again with eggbeater, then with perforated spoon. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat with spoon 15 minutes. Put in 2 patent layer cake tins; bake in slowest possible oven 1 hour. Put between layers a filling of whipped cream, broken walnut meats and cut up marshmallows. Loosen cakes from tins while warm.- Mrs. Jesse Stearns. Given the Futter recipe dates from 1926, it appears that the large meringue cake took a while to reach both Aus and NZ. There is some conjecture as to whether either of these recipes possessed the soft-centre of the modern recipe. Festival's recipe includes cornflour only, while the US recipe included vinegar (so similar to the first Edmond's recipe). Both recipes are double-layered. Over time, recipes become single layered only, and included both cornflour and vinegar, while other ingredients, lemon juice and cream of tartar also make appearances. Another stage in the evolution was the use of baking paper instead of a cake tin. These developments in the evolution of pavlova were not especially notable in themselves, but were borrowed from other recipes, for example the Schaum Torte, a meringue based recipe similar to pavlova which often included both vinegar and cream of tartar as ingredients. Meringue cakes and pavlovas existed side by side for a number of years. The meringue cake went by various names 'Meringue Cake', 'Meringue Gateau', 'Meringue Cream Cake', 'Marshmallow Cake'. Over time, a form of 'natural selection' acted on these various names, along with the pavlova name, until eventually all of these recipes were known simply as pavlova. Theodore D (talk) 03:03, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

Idea of cornflour[edit]

One thing that seems to be a unique feature of the pavlova (the modern concept at least) is the addition of cornflour. According to Prof Leach's book (pg 64) the earliest known/recorded meringue recipes specifying the addition of cornflour date to 1896 in Aus, 'Cookery Book of Good and Tried Receipts'. The modern version of the pavlova specifies the adding of both cornflour and vinegar, while earlier versions of the 1930s could specify one, or both ingredients. Here's [49] an example of a meringue recipe from 1906, with cornflour added. Note that for the recipe in which the cornflour is not added, it is suggested the insides may be scooped out and filled with cream. The one with cornflour has no such recommendation. Although it is not clear, due to the brevity of the recipes, just what the purpose of using cornflour was. Theodore D (talk) 23:16, 12 January 2013 (UTC)


This article should represent two things, the first of which that there are references that indicate origins for both Australia and New Zealand, so it would be unwise to portray one as the origin. Secondly, due to the controversial and questionable nature of the encyclopaedic content within this article, I propose that a header bar be placed to avoid confusion. Azirus (talk) 12:19, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

What are the references which indicate Australian origins? This has been debated for a long time, but no such references have been provided.-gadfium 22:47, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
Does the debate consider that different names were used at different times for different types of cakes? Does the debate also consider that all claims are mostly based on the Eton mess, an English recipe? Azirus (talk) 09:51, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
The idea that the pavlova dessert was created on a particular day, in a particular country, by one or more particular individuals, is a myth. As I have pointed out on this talk page, rather repetitively I'd have to admit, the first instance of a pavlova, by name, and somewhat resembling the modern concept of what a pavlova should be, was not really anything more that a large meringue cake renamed. This is an important point I'd have thought, but it doesn't get any play in the main article, which seems more interested on playing up rivalries between NZ and Aus as to which nation can claim the credit for creating the first pavlova. It might well be that NZ can claim honours as evidence suggests that renaming the large meringue cake as pavlova took off there a little before it did in Aus, but large meringue cakes by various names continued to exist alongside those called pavlova in both countries, for many years. It also seems that both countries borrowed from each other over the years as the pavlova recipe evolved to the modern standard we know today. I don't believe the Eton mess, though similar, was the origin of the pavlova cake in NZ and Aus. The evidence points to large meringue cakes, most likely recipes from Europe and the USA. Theodore D (talk) 23:18, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

cornflour issue[edit]

there still seems to be an issue with this article's claim that addition of ingredient cornflour makes the difference between a pavlova and large meringue cake. This is plainly not so, as the first Edmonds recipe, from 1939, did not include cornflour. This recipe held its own in the Edmonds cookbook for some 40 odd more years. Theodore D (talk) 00:51, 23 May 2013 (UTC)