As in biology, debates between evolutionists and creationists can occur in historical disciplines dealing with the origins of technological devices and processes. In food history, the popular belief that dishes are invented, in particular by chefs, reflects an underlying creationist model. In the case of the pavlova cake, this model demands a sole creator, time and place of invention. Since this dish is iconic in both Australia and New Zealand, disputes over its origin culminated in what the media termed the ““Pavlova Wars,”” despite the evidence from cookbook analysis for progressive parallel evolution of pavlovas from meringue cakes. Beyond this prominent example, the originality (or otherwise) of recipes is critical in contemporary contexts such as copyright law. While copyright legislation follows an evolutionary model of recipe origins, many authors of cookbooks have asserted the originality of their recipes. Yet even in eighteenth century Britain, when claims and counterclaims of plagiarism were even more common than today, there were cookbooks that treated recipes as a common good to be handed on to inexperienced cooks. This may be an example of a pre-Darwinian debate between creationists and evolutionists.
- creation versus evolution debate
- recipe creation
- recipe evolution
- origin of Pavlova cake
- New Zealand
- copyright in cookbooks
- recipes not copyright
- 18th century English cookbooks
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