I found myself caught between an Aussie and a Kiwi today when I served this dessert. Let me tell you, it can be a very uncomfortable place, indeed! Both claim their relative countries invented it, in honor of Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. Even my brief internet research debates its origins. All quarrels aside, the pavlova is a national dish in both countries and held dear to the hearts of its citizens.
I first tried a version of this dish a few years ago, while pastry sous chef at Gilt, and it really was a revelation. The magic of the pavlova lies hands down in the meringue. The balance of crispy outer shell to the soft, chewy interior, make a perfect vessel for ever so lightly sweetened cream. Fresh passion fruit seeds add fruity acidity and a pleasant pop rock-y crunch. Fresh strawberries gild the lily.