American golf star Phil Mickelson has reignited the debate about the origins of pavlova.
For decades, Australia and New Zealand have argued over who invented the pavlova.
Mickelson, speaking ahead of this week’s Masters, shared his theory after recalling being served the dessert at the 2014 Champions Dinner, hosted by Australian Adam Scott.
Other golfers were confused as to what the dessert was but Mickelson was able to rattle off his version of its origin – and it wasn’t via Google as mobile phones were not allowed at the dinner, AP reported.
“Pavlova, that’s inspired by the great Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who was touring through New Zealand and Australia, and an Australian chef was so inspired by her beautiful movement and tutus he named a dessert after her,” Mickelson said.
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And the reason for his knowledge? “My daughter was a dancer and she wrote a biography on Anna Pavlova and I made 32 pavlovas for her class when she was a little girl.”
Mickelson, a three-time Masters champion, is competing at the major at Augusta that starts on Thursday (Friday NZ time).
There has been a long-held dispute between Australians and Kiwi about pavlova.
In 2008 Professor Helen Leach’s The Pavlova Story: A Slice of New Zealand’s Culinary History said the first true recipe was Pavlova Cake from New Zealand in 1929. A dessert named after the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, from a book published in 1926, was actually a four-layered jelly with no meringue at all.
Australia had long claimed that Herbert “Bert” Sachse created the pavlova at Perth’s Esplanade Hotel in 1935,
A new listing in the Oxford English Dictionary in 2010 said the pav was invented in New Zealand.
But in 2015, Dr Andrew Paul Wood, a New Zealander, and Annabelle Utrecht, an Australian, said they could “categorically state” the modern pavlova began life as a German torte, eventually travelling to the United States where it evolved into its final form.
They found more than 150 pavlova-like meringue cakes served with cream and fruit prior to 1926. They also found more than 50 dishes named after Pavlova occurring before 1927.
“The idea that it was invented in New Zealand or even Australia is a total fiction, as is the notion that the first pavlova desserts are of Antipodean origin,” Wood said.
“The first recipe for a pavlova dessert is not the 1926 Davis Gelatine jelly. It is the 1911 ‘Strawberries Pavlova’ recipe and this dessert is a dish on the move.”
Last year’s Masters winner Dustin Johnson was the host for this year’s Masters dinner. His dessert choice didn’t include pavlova, but apple pie, peach cobbler and vanilla ice cream, AP reported.
Tiger Woods, recovering from injuries sustained in his recent car crash, tweeted that “he would miss running up Dustin Johnson’s bill at this year’s dinner.
“It’s still one of my favourite nights of the year,” he said.