Okay, it's time to clear this thing up once
and for all.
Today I went to a holiday 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 replied, "Nope,
that would have been OFFAL!" No one got my play on words,
but I was pretty pleased with myself.
People call my product all kinds of things
so it's time to clear up the confusion.
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 good. 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 fat,
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
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 short, I am quite tall and all allusions
to shortness are not indicative of my stature. Furthermore,
just for the record, shortbread is NOT a health food and never
will be. There is nearly 1 cup of butter in every 8"
round shortbread gift box we make. Shortly, I must post this
entry and get to work baking, wrapping, and shipping. My temper
often becomes short when I work so many long hours, but I
am determined to never be short of "bread" (money)
ever again as this business blossoms. In summary, shortbread
is an elegant, classic, old fashioned and simple dessert that
has become a Christmas favorite for many people, tall and
Enjoy your sweetbreads and shortcake, but
That's the long and short of it.
Copyright 2006, Ann Zuccardy. Filed under
Ann's Musings in the VermontShortBlog.
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