What is Your Madeleine?*

*I will admit right off the bat that I never read the Proust book, but I’m familiar with the respective passage & the concept. Obviously :wink:

Yesterday, while shlepping to the best ice cream parlor in the city we came across a small Greek bakery called Cinnamon & Sugar. We popped in bc how could we not – it’s Greek, and they make some nice sweet & savory pastries….

And there it was, between random confectionary treats and other goodies: EKMEK KADAIFI.

It looked fancier than the one I had in the mid-late 80s at a taverna in the middle of nowhere on Mykonos, where my best buddy in HS and I had stopped in after a morning of exploring the island and its beaches on our mopeds, starving for lunch. After a satisfying but forgettable makaronia, we looked into their glass counter for a dessert to share. What looked like a slice of white bread topped with a layer of beautifully light yellow custard, whipped cream, and chopped nuts was introduced to me as simply “ekmek.” The white bread was soaked in syrup, but the overall impression wasn’t too sweet.

I have been on the search for this dessert ever since. 30+ years later and I have found an equivalent. Did it taste exactly like I remember it? Can I even remember the exact flavor after all these years?

Either way, I am over the moon with joy :blush:, and needless to say we’ll be stopping in a few more times this summer.

What is your Madeleine? Have you found it? Do you still pine for it bc you haven’t?


Carciofi all giuda, a deep-fried artichoke I had a short distance from the Trevi Fountain in 1984. I haven’t been back to Italy, and apparently no one in the myriad restaurants where I’ve ordered this dish can make it the way I want it - super crispy and grease-free.


The freshly made Belgian waffle I had from a cart right outside the train station in Bruges, Belgium in 1991. It was topped with granulated sugar which melted into the butter that was put on top of it after coming off of the waffle maker. I’ve tried various other Belgian waffles since, but none have been that good. I do wonder if the atmosphere in the storybook setting of Brugge (to give the alternative spelling) might not have had something to do with how delicious it was!


No doubt do surroundings, mood, atmosphere, stage in our lives affect our enjoyment of a dish, or make it particularly memorable. To this day I remember one of the best tomatoes I’ve had: it was the size of a toddler’s head (& therefore my lunch), and I ate it on a ferry taking me from Dubrovnik to an island just across. It was juicy and tomato-y to the max, no salt needed. But yeah, I was also on vacation :slight_smile:

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My late law school classmate and neighbor had been married to an Italian and they lived for a time in Rome. This was by far her favorite dish.

I remember my first time having them in the Jewish Ghetto area, taken by our Roman friend, to one of the restaurants there.

But the ‘madeleine’ of the title was probably another visit, where we went to a tucked away restaurant close to his tiny studio, where there was no menu and you ate continuous courses until you were finshed. I remember a roasted veal dish with a sauce so unctuous, savory and with a depth of flavor that I have never been able to replicate in a restaurant or at home

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well . . . the “classic” Belgium waffle is yeast raised - point #1 - what yeast - what flavor devloped?

next - ‘pearled sugar’ in the batter -
pearled sugar is simply clumps/lumps of granulated sugar, perhaps a finer grind that US typical granulated. . . . ?

most US version of ‘waffles’ is a take off on pancake batter - i.e. baking powder, not yeast.

yeasted with pearled sugar are indeed a much different waffle. in my albeit limited “I shall here cook one” experience . . . the crust is faster and crustier - the ‘center’ less firm/more tender.

preferences DW has.
moi…? I eat 'em all. and ready for more…


Mine is an arancini from a hole in the wall take out lunch counter in Palermo, Sicily - stuffed with meat and peas, covered with fine bread crumbs. Served in paper as a hand held. Slightly crispy on the outside, creamy and savory in the middle. I haven’t had a better one and probably never will.


Alas, they no longer make Good Humor Toasted Almond ice cream bars.

I’ve had lots of different almond ice creams, of varying quality.

But none has the same artificial almond flavor and crunchy weird coating. I swear I’d pay $50 for a box.


They were one of my favorites!

It’ll be my first and last snack (again) when I return to Sicily! Ate it every day there and I don’t like/eat rice! Shatteringly crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside! I have tried all the fillings. Especially enjoyed the pistachio filled ones, aubergine, cheese as well.

Anyone can make “arancini” but only in Sicily you eat the most awesome arancini!

I brought a box of arancini on the plane on the way home and guarded it with great care!

Still dreaming about arancini, yes. But also dreaming about the goose I ate many times at this goose specialist in Taiwan. Had tried goose in other places in Taiwan but none compared to that place.