petit beurre

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Petit beurres are small sweet biscuits made with a dough containing butter (the French name means literally ‘little butter’). Originally a speciality of Nantes, a city in northwestern France, on the river Loire, they are traditionally oblong with scalloped edges. They seem to have been a comparatively late introduction to Britain (they are first mentioned in the 1906 edition of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management), but within two or three decades they had become a sufficiently familiar component of English tea and biscuits for John Betjeman to evoke them in his Continual Dew (1937): ‘He gives his Ovaltine a stir and nibbles at a “petit beurre”.’

Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink.

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