Citizenship and belonging: a reaction to the tiramisu (research participant)

I thought it would be a good idea for my research participant to taste the dessert, especially as she loves tiramisu, so I set up the tasting in such a way that there were two steps to the revelation and then the surprise. I thought I’d transcribe part of the encounter. I will be ‘I – Interviewer’ and Mariam is ‘S – Research subject’.

I - 'What do you think could be in [the bag]?' S - 'In the bag?' I - 'Yeah' S - 'Well based on our previous interview I'm assuming food.' I - 'Any thoughts...' S - 'As to what type of food?' S - 'Maybe something I've mentioned from before? I don't know [laughs]. I - 'Let's have a look' Opens the bag and looks inside. S - 'Ooh, is it a tagine?'

I – ‘What do you think could be in [the bag]?’
S – ‘In the bag?’
I – ‘Yeah’
S – ‘Well based on our previous interview I’m assuming food.’
I – ‘Any thoughts…’
S – ‘As to what type of food?’
S – ‘Maybe something I’ve mentioned from before? I don’t know [laughs].
I – ‘Let’s have a look’
Opens the bag and looks inside.
S – ‘Ooh, is it a tagine?’ Lifts the tagine pot out of the bag.

S - 'Ooh, is it a tagine?' I – ‘Don’t take the top off.’ I – ‘Any ideas?’ S – Ok, I’m either guessing you went with the flow and made a couscous tagine or you may have placed my favourite dessert in it.’ I – ‘Do you want to’ [take the lid off].

S – ‘Ooh, is it a tagine?’
I – ‘Don’t take the top off.’
I – ‘Any ideas?’
S – Ok, I’m either guessing you went with the flow and made a couscous tagine or you may have placed my favourite dessert in it.’
I – ‘Do you want to’ [take the lid off?].

Step one of the revelation.

Step one of the revelation.

Step two of the revelation.

Step two of the revelation.

S – ‘Awesome! Oh my God, that’s a good idea.’ I – ‘There’s a spoon, because the next stage is… Obviously there’s no alcohol in here, it’s a non-alcoholic tiramisu.’ S – ‘Awesome!’  S – ‘Do I taste it? (Uhuh) And then what? A review [laughs]. This is like Master Chef.  I – ‘That is really good!’ I – ‘What’s in the cream?’ Tastes citrusy… Tangy. Orange? Rose?’ S – ‘Think about your heritage.’ I – ‘Orange… It’s between orange and pineapple.’ S – It’s something used a lot, I think, well definitely in Middle Eastern and I think North African…’ I – ‘In desserts or savouries?’ S – ‘Desserts’. I – ‘Orange blossom water?’ I – ‘That’s really nice! That’s a smart one!’  (I go on to explain how I combined the Moroccan ingredients to the traditional ones). I – ‘It’s a tiramisu, but it’s not. It is a tiramisu…’ S – ‘With a twist.’ S – ‘Well done on the twist. It’s nice, really nice. I really like it. (…) S – ‘You pulled it off. I’m impressed. Well done. Did you like it?’ I – ‘Love it’. S – ‘Awesome!’

S – ‘Awesome! Oh my God, that’s a good idea.’
I – ‘There’s a spoon, because the next stage is… Obviously there’s no alcohol in here, it’s a non-alcoholic tiramisu.’
S – ‘Awesome!’
S – ‘Do I taste it? (Uhuh) And then what? A review [laughs]. This is like Master Chef.
I – ‘That is really good!’
I – ‘What’s in the cream?’ Tastes citrusy… Tangy. Orange? Rose?’
S – ‘Think about your heritage.’
I – ‘Orange… It’s between orange and pineapple.’
S – It’s something used a lot, I think, well definitely in Middle Eastern and I think North African…’
I – ‘In desserts or savouries?’
S – ‘Desserts’.
I – ‘Orange blossom water?’
I – ‘That’s really nice! That’s a smart one!’
(I go on to explain how I combined the Moroccan ingredients to the traditional ones).
I – ‘It’s a tiramisu, but it’s not. It is a tiramisu…’
S – ‘With a twist.’
S – ‘Well done on the twist. It’s nice, really nice. I really like it. (…)
S – ‘You pulled it off. I’m impressed. Well done. Did you like it?’
I – ‘Love it’.
S – ‘Awesome!’

NB: The dish with the tiramisu is different for logistical reasons which I won’t bore you with.

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