When talking about chocolate meringue pie it is impossible to pass by meringue history which is as tasty as the crispy white top of the pie.
Welcome to Meiringen, Switzerland! It is no surprise if you haven’t heard about this place before. Travelling to Meiringen nowadays we will find about 4 600 people lucky to live in a picturesque valley close to the Alps, enjoying eternal beauty of Swiss forrests, rivers and lakes.
One of the local sights Meiringeners are proud of is Reichenbach Falls, a tremendous waterfall. More than 120 years ago Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was so impressed with the dramatic beauty of the water flow power that he decided to make it a place for the last duel between Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty in his “The Final Problem” story about the famous detective.
If we travel deeper into Meiringen history, about 290 years ago, we shall find an Italian pastry chef Gasparini, who according to the legend one day in 1720 came up with a happy idea of beating egg whites with sugar into foam. At that time the process was much less easy since he had to do it not only without a mixer, but even without a fork!
We do not know exactly now who created this legend: either Meiringeners themselves or food historians in an attempt to link a beautiful pastry with a beautiful place, but Oxford English Dictionary breaks it ruthlessly! It says that the earliest English print reference for meringue dates to 1706.
Another theory suggests that the name meringue first appeared in print in François Massialot's cookbook of 1692. However it does not explain so gracefully where the name came from making it another cake mystery.
Nowadays meringues proudly form a part of a traditional Southern delicacy in America. Chocolate meringue pie is a perfect story of black and white combination. The world knows that black and white match perfectly in old movies, in chess play, in official dress, in typed pages, in coal drawings, in yin yang and in many other occasions. Confectioners know for sure that dark chocolate filling and egg whites meringue is not an exception. The texture of the cake matters as well: moist chocolate filling and light egg whites meringue make a superb contrast.