It’s easy to forget in our modern, secular world, but France is a Catholic country. Even its food contains a drop of Holy Water.
In the South of France, there docks a very widespread yet singular cookie in the shape of a boat. It is called a Navette, which takes its name from a word that originally meant "boat," but now means something closer to "shuttle." The story goes that at one point, Mary Magdalene sailed to Marseilles, and these little cookies have been made ever since to commemorate her voyage.
They are simple, but crisp and crumbly. Not too sweet. Hand-shaped and rustic. And best of all, though they are traditionally flavored with orange flower water, you can find cinnamon, chocolate, vanilla, lavender, and orange varieties. They contain nothing but flour, sugar, butter, yeast, and water, and whatever flavoring you plan to add, and they are sold in vast quantities nearly everywhere. There are mountains of them in the little butter cookie shops that bedazzle every southern town, but go to a small bakery. They are better there.
They are the perfect tea cookie, but I usually ate a couple sitting on a dock, overlooking the sea. Keeping watch for any boats coming into harbor. Une petite Marsaillaise.
All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. We may earn a commission on purchases, as described in our affiliate policy.