Jaffa Cakes were one of the challenges of the week on ‘The Great British Bake-off’. When Paul Hollywood, one of the judges, dunked his in his tea, Mary Berry exclaimed, ‘We don’t do that in the south.’ The Daily Mail ran a whole page article on the subject of whether to ‘dunk’ or not! A top French Chef was asked to comment. He said that the French are the champions of dunking! They love to dip their croissant into their morning coffee, and their buttered tartine into hot chocolate. Anyone who has watched the hilarious film ‘Bienvenue Chez les Ch’tis’ will know that one of the jokes is about people who live in the north of France dipping their ‘maroilles’ stinky cheese sandwich into their morning cup of chicory coffee. An iconic moment in French literature was when Marcel Proust wrote about eating a madeleine sponge cake while drinking lime flower tea. ‘I raised to my lips a spoonful of tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses…’. French literature would be poorer by far if Marcel Proust had not been in the habit of dunking!  Not forgetting the champenois custom of serving a ‘biscuit rose de Reims’ with champagne as a dunking biscuit!

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