Memory and Madeleines

This weekend I returned home, and in the brief time I was there I saw a good friend from Hamilton. This friend being of particularly exquisite taste, I took her to one of my favorite neighborhood cafe/bakeries, Ceci Cela in soho.

Of course, I felt obliged to order Madeleines with our cafe au lait and lemon tarts.


No offense to marcel, but I prefer lemon tarts. Not that the cake-ish Madeleines aren’t delicious. Yet I actually enjoy lemon tarts for the same reason Proust loves madeleines. While my first memory of a Madeleine is actually from a Starbucks, my first memory of a lemon tart is my sister and mother baking it, letting me eat the sickly delicious mess of sugar and lemon that stuck to the sides of the bowl and giving me amused (sister) and worried (mother) looks as I ate the lemons like oranges. As Proust points out, the pleasure comes not from the pastry but from the memory.
Nevertheless, Ceci Cela has wonderful pastries and, even of you have no happy memories associated with baked goods, you’ll enjoy what they have to offer.