Thursday, January 31, 2019

Little schoolboy

These are probably my favorite cookies in France. I certainly like other cookies, but I always come back to the Petit Ecolier (the little schoolboy). It's the classic Petit Beurre (little butter cookie) with a tablet of chocolate on top. The cookies pictured are made with milk chocolate, but there are versions with dark chocolate, and chocolate with hazelnuts, too.

Four Petits Ecoliers make a good dessert. And they're good with red wine!

The manufacturer is LU, which stands for Lefèvre Utile, a baking company in Nantes down on the Loire estuary. It was established in 1846 and remains among the most famous of cookie brands in the country. Their signature cookie is the Petit Beurre, a simple butter shortbread cookie instantly recognizable in France. The addition of a slab of chocolate molded to include the shape of a schoolboy holding a basket and a cookie turned it into the Petit Ecolier.

The box.

A funny aside: many years ago Ken and I were in a shop in Rouen, Normandy. Ken bought a ceramic hotplate trivet made in the shape of a Petit Beurre cookie. The shopkeeper, realizing we were English-speaking foreigners, asked if we knew what the plural of un Petit Beurre was. We looked confused, I'm sure. He smiled and said, "Des Touyoux!" We probably looked even more confused than before. Then he sang out, "Un Petit Beurre, des Touyoux!" which sounds remarkably like "Happy birthday to you!" Maybe you had to be there, but we've never forgotten the good laugh we had that day.

10 comments:

  1. I try to eat the bicuit off the chocolate first.

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  2. The original Petit Beurre, without chocolate, is my all time favorite. I brought back some from France last fall. Didn't know the origin of Toyoux! A little farfetched, no?

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  3. Funny story and great cookie.

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  4. Love those cookies! I also love the feeling of accomplishment when I "get" a pun in French (thanks for explaining that one).

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  5. I can find those cookies at my local grocery store!

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  6. I love these cookies! My sister introduced me to them a long time ago and i can still remember that first taste. Un Petit Beurre, des Touyoux... too!

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  7. I discovered the "basic" Petit Beurre last winter, bought them at SuperU, thus proving that supermarkets have some marginal utility.

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  8. potty, I've tried that, without success!

    chm, they're great for dunking!

    evelyn, they're simple and good.

    chris, me too. So many of them go right by me.

    anne marie, cool! I didn't know they had jumped the Atlantic.

    mitch, do you see them in Spain?

    emm, that and toilet paper. ;)

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  9. Lu is now part of the gigantic Mendelez group, I believe.

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  10. "UN p'tit beurre, des touyoux" "happy birthday to you"

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