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Who’s the biggest pavlova lovah lovah? You’ll be surprised
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Sometimes when you use Google Trends data to settle a debate, it just opens up a whole new mystery.
Just as the noodle’s true origins have led to angry debate among the Chinese and Italians, the pavlova’s genesis is a constant cause of tension among Aussies and Kiwis. This cream-filled, strawberry-topped meringue dessert was created in honour of the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova on the occasion of her tour through Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. Yet the exact birthplace of this dessert — a mainstay of Down Under cuisine — is as much a matter of national contention as a Wallabies v. All Blacks match.
Google Trends can’t settle the debate from a historical perspective, but it can at least help us see which country searches most for the dessert now. And the answer came (drumroll please): Norway. And then…Malaysia.
Are you taking the mickey, mate?!
The data from Norway hinted at one reason as to why the pavlova’s popularity pipped those Down Under. When you see spikes like that, it typically has to do with a holiday. And, sure enough, pavlova searches in Norway spike every year in May:
Pavlova spikes most dramatically in the week of May 11-17, leading up to Norwegian Constitution Day on May 17. What can explain the seasonal popularity of this dish in northern Europe? Speculation posits that the dessert’s colorful use of blueberries and strawberries makes it resemble the red-and-blue Norwegian flag.
But what about Malaysia? Unlike Norway, searches for pavlova in Malaysia are fairly steady all year round, with the highest volume of searches in mid-November last year. Perhaps the love of the dessert Down Under hopped the straits to Malaysia, known also for its sweet treats?
For most of
the rest of the world
, pavlova spikes around Christmas time.
But as for our original question of who wins between Australia and New Zealand: it’s New Zealand. The search interest in “pavlova recipes” is much higher in New Zealand too.
So, while we may not be able to settle who first served Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova the first slice of pavlova almost 100 years ago, we can see that New Zealand has a sweeter tooth than Australia today.
Posted by Shane Treeves, Communications Senior Associate, Google Australia and New Zealand
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