Scrum Notes 2013-20

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The Pavlova Guide ▶️

Pavlova, named in honour of the dancer Anna Pavlova, is a dessert created in either Australia or New Zealand (the two countries both claim ownership). It is made of a special kind of soft meringue, slow-baked and left to cool in the oven, then topped with whipped double cream, passion fruit, kiwi fruit and strawberries. Restaurants often serve a dessert made of regular crunchy meringue, and/or topped with stuff like bananas, pineapple, berries, or other fruit, maybe even covered with canned, low-fat spray-on cream. They call this Pavlova. But it isn't. It is something they made up, some adaptation of the original recipe. And it causes consternation. If I order Pavlova, I have an expectation. I want to eat Pavlova, not some imitation, not some other dessert loosely based on Pavlova.

Pavlova has some essential ingredients, and a method of combining them, that together create the dish. Leave out one ingredient, or change it to something else and you don't have a Pavlova. In fact, one might go so far as to write the following in a recipe book:

The Pavlova recipe is free and offered in this recipe book. Pavlova's ingredients and method of creation are immutable and although using only some of the Pavlova ingredients is possible, the result is not Pavlova. Pavlova exists only in its entirety and functions well as a dessert to accompany other courses served before or after.1

No one would take issue with that, right? The statement does not say you can't create your own dessert, or adapt the Pavlova recipe, experiment, add things, remove things, use cheap ingredients, change the recipe altogether, or do whatever you like in your own kitchen. And the statement does not say you can't also eat other dishes before, after (or even during!) the time you are eating your Pavlova.

Just don't serve the new thing you've made, wonderful or awful as it turns out, and call it Pavlova when it isn't. You might upset your guests who have an expectation for genuine Pavlova—which, by the way, is truly wonderful, a perfect blend of ingredients.

1 Wording adapted from the end note of the Scrum Guide. See also this comment on LinkedIn also referring to the end note.

Sheffield, 13/06/2018   comment