WINE&DINE L A DOLCE V I TA I’ve met people who claim not to like chocolate. And those who can turn down ice cream in the middle of a hot summer's day. However, I would claim that everyone has a deep-rooted desire for “something sweet” and that sweets we've discovered on our travels always emotionally transport us back to some distant memories. There can be no honestly told emotional story about sweets unless it starts with Marcel Proust, who legendarily described “The Taste of littleMadeleines”. Madeleines are small, shell-shapedsponge cakes that Proust used to jolt his memory and as a metaphor for home, the feeling we have of being at home, the connection with our origins. Growing up in this area, we didn‘t haveMadeleines - but we devoured “lazy” apple pies with a thick layer of icing sugar and doughnuts that explode with jam with the first bite. It would also be proper to mention the particularly interesting phenomenon of the “reform” cake. This is by no means special or even overly tasty - but it is a kind of emblem of Yugoslav nostalgia. Before actual reforms led to us declaring ourselves either as capitalists or anti-capitalists, leftists or rightists, carnivores or vegans – we all gathered together around the reform cake. The sweet anticipation of dessert also brings with it some kind of semantic meaning. Somemessages are completely open, like a meticulously decorated cupcake that‘s topped with the words “Happy Birthday”. Yet some are hidden, which is why the Chinese have the fortune cookie containing a cryptic message that we believe has found us at just the right time. How many love stories that appear to be completely differSOUVENIRS Sweets as the most beautiful ent are currently going through the same predictable route in this world, from the erotic proposal to “share dessert” on the third date, to the intimacy of marital everyday life in which the aroma of fresh pancakes spreads through an apartment? And when we‘ve been locked away in our homes for months because of the pandemic, sweets have that ability to use flavour to carry us far away, reminding us of trips we‘ve taken. As a student, I spent several months in a sweltering Thessaloniki and discovered what had previously been an unknown delicacy to me - Greek yoghurt, honey and walnuts served in a glass. This magical combination always reminds me of everything that I love about Greece. It also instilled in me the belief that you can discover the spirit of a city you‘re visiting better in its traditional pastry shops than by disinterestedly stumbling through the exhibitions of a national museum. Sweets that are specific to a certain region reveal thementality of that nation, and we no longer feel like foreigners while we eat them. Let‘s compare two extremes: typically English “After Eight” chocolatemints, wafer thin and with a refreshing filling, and the American vanilla milkshake that oozes over the rim of a huge glass, so thick that it‘s simply (sweet) torture to suck it through the straw. While the look and taste of After Eight chocolates fits perfectly with our impres100 | Slatkiši » Sweets