Estelea's Blog

French Mum, humanitarian, restless explorer and doer on sabbatical in Cebu (Philippines): one Attila in each arm, I am exploring the “toddlers safe” corners of the region, while trying to keep some room for Me.

My ” Madeleine de Proust” is made of Chocolate…


My “Madeleine” is called Pain au chocolat. Its melting chocolate, its crustiness, the delicacy of its feuilleté there is nothing above it. Our love story goes far beyond the mouthwatering experience and lasts far after the ultimate crumb.

Tasting a pain au chocolat flies me back to kindergarden; The only way for my Mum to get me out of there would be to point at the bakery. The flagrance of the hot treat is the most beautiful perfume ever. Love at first smell, love at first sight, love at first taste. Not a passionated kind of love that consummates itself in a bulimic way. No, this love is made of admiration, savor, veneration. It is an exclusive relationship, made to last.

I guess my love for the pain au chocolat has crystallised over the years. Asia is not very famous for its French pastries so meeting with a real pain au chocolat on this continent is indeed an unique experience.To an expat, no matter how many decades you’ve been living abroad, a resurrection of the “Madeleine de Proust” can occur at anytime.

Last time it happened to me, in Seoul, I felt the flash again. The time travel machine took me back to France, sharing the 4pm goûter with my crazy brothers. It literally swept me off my feet to sit me down at my grand parents big kitchen table, surrounded by my bunch of hilarious cousins. I had to pause between each bite, to calm down the rush of the memories. Here I am at the terrace of my favorite Parisian café, back from another oversea mission, sipping at this too long awaited espresso, admiring my little chocolated treasures lying in their wicker basket.

Living in Asia has other kind of pleasures, can’t have it all…


Still, I am so looking forward to our European holidays next month. I know what I’ll get for breakfast. Lunch. And gouter. At least for a few days 🙂


11 comments on “My ” Madeleine de Proust” is made of Chocolate…

  1. lexklein
    February 11, 2015

    Food is such a powerful memory inducer. And you described the feeling so perfectly that even I felt I was back in France with you and your family!

    • estelea
      February 12, 2015

      Oh thanks for the compliment 🙂 I had never realized the power of food until I became an expat. There is always a moment when all of a sudden, you miss the food of your country so badly. To me it would be the pain au chocolat, then some cheeses and decent red wine. They are not food anymore, they are jewels, totally transformed into objects of veneration. Then when I am back in Europe, they are on all my menus, for a few days only. THen the passion fades away, I feel safe because I know I can find them everywhere… Safer for my hips too, strangely enough I never missed French beans nor apples 😛 What is your favorite food? the one you could dream about? X

      • lexklein
        February 17, 2015

        My favorite food is so simple – bread. I dream of toast!

  2. dunelight
    February 16, 2015

    It is difficult to find a perfectly made chocolate pastry. When we do it’s a delight. I love the photo.

    • estelea
      February 17, 2015

      You are so right; when we finally do, it’s like finding a treasure! Those ones were just per-fect, maybe because the owner in French, so he knows exactly the meaning of a pain au chocolat… Thanks for your kind words, will share my pain au chocolat virtually with you 😉

  3. GreenRideBikers
    February 18, 2015

    The most erotic chocolate tale I ever came across..

    My God, I am having a severe chocolate crush after reading this!

    I am running to the store to satisfy myself..bye

  4. brittabottle
    February 21, 2015

    What a lovely post. I felt like I was being swept back in time with you while reading it. Also…yum! 🙂

    • estelea
      February 22, 2015

      THanks so much, really appreciate your kind words! We are off to France next week, will share one virtually with you 🙂

      • brittabottle
        February 22, 2015

        I will be looking forward to it! 🙂

  5. Pingback: Where is “Home” for my Multicultural kids? | Estelea's Blog

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This entry was posted on February 11, 2015 by in Expat, Me and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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