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Proust's Madeleines -- the flip side

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Proust's Madeleines -- the flip side

GG Mora | Oct 23, 2002 12:09 PM

Here in Southern Vermont, we had 4 inches of snow overnight. Last night for dinner, even though there was a chill in the air, grilled flank steak and a big green salad were perfectly acceptable. Now, the culinary center in my brain is short-circuiting. I want gooey, cheesey steaming onion soup. I want to bake pumpkin pie. No, wait...Christmas cookies! That's it, I want to gather the family around for a big roast beef dinner with gravy and Yorkshire pudding and big glasses of port all around and...

For Proust, the taste of Madeleines brought a world of memories streaming back. This is almost the flip side: a cue -- be it weather, location -- triggers deep associations that in turn produce a longing for certain foods. Others, for me, are the craving for meat grilled outdoors over fire, brought on by the first real spring day, when the black-flies hatch and the air smells of rich, fertile dirt. Or my instant need for fried scallops when I first step out into an ocean breeze. Or the anticipation of my first cafe-creme when the plane touches down at CDG.

I'm curious: what are other Chowhounds' cues, and what are the cravings they produce?

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