Tag Archives: pavlova



Informant: I’ll be talking about, uh, the pavlova. which is a dessert that, and it’s a dessert that’s unique to New Zealand.

And, it’s a, sort of a meringue cake almost? um and you generally top it with a bunch of whipped cream and uh kiwi fruits, because that’s sort of like a New Zealand thing.

[Later in the transcript]

Informant: What else is interesting about it… OH it’s very easy to mess up. It’s sort of like, it takes a lot of skill to make a good pavlova. Like you have to practice a lot, um, and all the ones I’ve made- all the ones I’ve ever made have come out very bad, umm but my mother and especially like my grandmother, were very good at it. So it’s sort of like cultural heritage in that way.


Context of Performance: In-person conversation

Me: How did you find out about Pavlova?

Informant: I cooked it with my mom. So yeah, often times, it’s sort of a, like, a celebratory dish. Like for birthdays sometimes, or for Christmas, we would often times make pavlova.

Me: Do you consider [pavlova] to be something kind of exclusive? Would it be something that you typically only see New Zealand people make?

Informant: Yeah, generally. It would feel weird, to like, to see someone making Pavlova.

Personal Thoughts:

The informant made it clear that they learned this dish from their mother, who is from New Zealand. It is also interesting to note that the informant also noted that this dish is often topped with kiwis “because that’s sort of like a New Zealand thing”. This particular dish shows the relationship between food and its folk through the unique ingredients required. Prior to mass globalization, this food would only be able to be made by those with access to kiwis – such as people in New Zealand. It was also interesting to note that the informant considered this dish to be an exclusive heritage of sorts, despite finding an online recipe to give me. I guess that a specific family recipe would be more exclusive than just the general concept.

Additional Notes/References:

The following is a recipe given to me by the informant. He said that it was not exactly what his family does, but it’s roughly similar:

Member, A. (n.d.). Easy pavlova. Allrecipes. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/12126/easy-pavlova/