Studying food culture in France, it was impossible to avoid Proust. In fact, I had already encountered his famous "madeleine de Combray" (link to story in english, french) in high school - and recall struggling with his run-on, pensive sentences. But as I grew older, and more interested in the history of culinary criticism, I began to appreciate Proust's summary of the essential relationship between food and memory:
"...when nothing subsists of an old past, after the death of people, after the destruction of things, alone, frailer but more enduring, more immaterial, more persistent, more faithful, smell and taste still remain for a long time, like souls, remembering, waiting, hoping, upon the ruins of all the rest, bearing without giving way, on their almost impalpable droplet, the immense edifice of memory".
I also learned that pondering while dipping a madeleine in a tasse du thé (cup of tea) was an excellent habit to acquire.
I've since made quite a few batches of madeleines, and have yet to find a recipe I swear by. So this time, I adapted a recipe myself - inspired by a Parisian amie who is boldly going gluten-free in the bread-centric capital.
See the original recipe posting at HonestCooking.com.