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Made famous by the French writer Marcel Proust, this unassuming cake has the power to trigger potent memories from one’s past.
It is by far the most famous part of Proust’s epic novel In Search of Lost Time: at the beginning of the first volume, when Proust dips a madeleine in tea, one bite of this simple cake brings back powerful memories of childhood afternoons spent at his aunt’s home.
Even those who’ve never read Proust may have heard of the madeleine episode. We know it, because it provides such a vivid account of the powers of scents and tastes and their ability to transport us back in time to very specific moments and places in our lives.
We all have our sources of inspiration.