Quick Recipes and Easy

Sweetbreads, Shortcake, Shortbread

Okay, it’s time to clear up the shortbread confusion once
and for all.

Today I went to a pot luck party. I brought tourtiere, a
traditional French Canadian meat pie that my grandmother
used to make. One guy said, “Aw man…you didn’t bring your
sweetbreads!” To this I answered, “Nope, that would have been
OFFAL!” No one got my play on words, but I was pretty
pleased with myself.

People call my product (shortbread) all kinds of things.
Allow me to offer a brief explanation of the difference
between sweetbreads, shortcake and shortbread so that
next time you order, you’ll know what to question for!

Sweetbreads are animal innards. Often they are
made from the thymus or pancreas of a piglet or calf. They
have no relation to shortbread. I have tried sweetbreads at a
fancy restaurant and found them pretty darn excellent. I had to try
them once! I have no clue where the name sweetbread
comes from. Vermont Shortbread Company does not
produce sweetbreads.

Shortcake is a sweet biscuit. It’s typically crumbly
and made with flour, sugar, butter or some other stout, milk or
cream and baking soda or baking powder. Strawberry
shortcake (fresh strawberries and whipped cream thrown
on top of one of these biscuits) is a favorite summer dessert
for Americans.

Shortbread (my gourmet food product), is a
traditional Scottish cookie made from butter, sugar, and
flour. Our version at Vermont Shortbread Company contains
a lot of butter, giving it a slightly chewy texture. We fill our
shortbread with jam fillings (raspberry or strawberry),
chocolate, lemon curd, walnut cinnamon, almond, or leave it
plain with no filling (traditional shortbread). I’ve seen
shortbread in many forms – a large round “cake” (we call it a
gift box at VSC) baked in a mold that gives it a pretty design
with scored triangular wedges called petticoat tails, small
round cookies, or “fingers” (long rectangular pieces). At
Vermont Shortbread Company, we make a shortie which is
a 4″ round shortbread baked in a tart pan.

In summary, shortbread is an elegant, classic, ancient
fashioned and simple dessert that has become a
Christmas favorite for many people, tall and small. Delight in
your sweetbreads and shortcake, but BUY some
shortbread.

That’s the long and small of it.

Copyright 2006, Ann Zuccardy.

Ann Zuccardy, creative entrepreneur, food lover and owner of the Vermont Shortbread Company, invites you to sample a taste of her buttery-rich, authentic Vermont Shortbread. Place your online order for VermontShortbread.com shortbread boxed fresh from the oven and shipped right to your doorstep at VermontShortbread.com VermontShortbread.com



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