The past is violently, thrillingly, even painfully restored to us by the texture of a towel, a stumble on a paving stone, the clinking of a teaspoon against a cup and, yes, the taste of a madeleine dipped in tea.
Under a glass bowl there is a cup of tea and a madeleine cookie and the guide explains how Proust as a grown man dipped the madeleine into the tea and recalled his joyous summers in Combray.
All we really know of Proust is that he ate a madeleine and felt memories wash over him.
Two classic French desserts were beautifully combined, the crumbly slightly dryish madeleine making a heavenly match with the oozing creamy brûlée.
But as Marcel Proust made clear with his madeleine , the visual is not always the most evocative of the senses.
Get ready, girl, the lines are drawn,’ her thin lips curled into a smile as she dipped a madeleine in her coffee.
The quantity of brandy in a madeleine would not furnish a gnat with an alcohol rub.
In Proust's madeleine scene, the convergence of the madeleine and the tea releases a flood of memory and transports Marcel back to the feelings of his childhood that had been inaccessible to him prior to the taste of the tea.
Some items were rather commercial-looking (the madeleines that we tried has the depressing taste and aroma of artificial vanilla.)
In particular, Pascale had baked chocolate hazelnut madeleines , which she insisted were ‘ratées’ (failed).