Posted by: bluesyemre | December 4, 2022

Eating Well Is a Portal Into Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time”

Proust loved not only food, but writing food

One recent evening, I brought to a simmer a pint of dry, hazy cider, then draped into the pan a whole glistening trout. I diced an onion, having torn off the papery outer layers; having peeled back the thin, translucent membrane still clinging to the pearlescent surface of the bulb, and browned it in a foaming bath of salted butter. Once the onion had browned, I folded in a pound of chopped fresh spinach. I lifted away the skin of the poached fish and layered my greens into its belly; I boiled down the cider, ambrosial with the addition of a leafy sprig of tarragon, and whisked in heavy cream, all of it commingling into a silky almond-colored sauce, which I poured into a deep dish and, afterward, laid my trout to rest in the center until it was time for dinner. 

It had been a buttery day already. I’d spent my past few meals eating through recipes from Dining With Marcel Proust: A Practical Guide to French Cuisine of the Belle Époquea cookbook and quasi-encyclopedia by English chef and writer Shirley King. I’d griddled up a croque-monsieur for breakfast (no crusts in the Belle Époque!) followed by a lunch of unctuous leek-and-potato soup, and was excited for my triumphal truite farcie aux espinards, which seemed to me an Escoffier special, as Continental as could possibly be. 


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