We got you tipsy on Thirsty Thursday, now let’s get some food in your belly. On Foodie Friday we’ll serve up a big portion of local fare from around the globe as our special way of tiding you over until you can get out and take a bite out of our delicious planet.
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e at Travel Freak enjoyed our virtual vacation to the Waikato Region of New Zealand so much that we decided one post just wasn’t enough. Now the Kiwi spirit has spilled over into Foodie Friday and we’re salivating over the thought of hoovering a pavlova, the signature dessert of New Zealand. Crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the middle, this meringue-like treat is topped with flowing heaps of whipped cream and soft fruits like bananas, passionfruit, and (of course) kiwi.
The pavlova’s Slavic name can be attributed to Anna Pavlova, a Russian ballerina in whose honor the dessert was originally made. Known as one of the greatest classical ballet dancers in history, Pavlova toured New Zealand and Australia in the late 1920s, and it is said that a hotel chef in Wellington invented the pavlova after being inspired by the color, shape, and texture of the ballerina’s tutu. It is unclear whether Pavlova actually ate her tasty tribute (seeing as the typical ballerina’s diet consists of considerably lighter fare) but the name stuck, and now the dessert will be forever connected to the dancer.
In recent years the fluffy dessert has taken a decidedly less airy form that its traditional incarnation — in 1999, the national museum of New Zealand whipped up a pavlova 45 meters long in celebration of its first anniversary, and in 2005 a group of Kiwi students made the world’s largest pavlova using 5000 egg whites, 150 kilograms of sugar, and 150 liters of cream. We imagine that if she were alive today, Anna Pavlova’s bird legs would buckle at the thought of her name being associated with so many calories.
A good pavlova takes a while to make, but the recipe is pretty straightforward. You can even throw some chocolate in for good a little added flavor, although it might not look so much like a tutu anymore with a creamy brown hue. Whichever recipe you chose, consider serving a pavlova for New Year’s Eve this weekend so you and your guests can do a culinary grand jeté down to one of the first countries to ring in 2012!
Photo courtesy of kimberlykv via Flickr (CC BY 3.0)