Fresh lime juice, fresh lime zest, nutmeg and cinnamon are the dominant notes in these delightfully refreshing cookies. Very much like sugar cookies, they are crisp and buttery. To use Ms. Herbst’s descriptor they have a citrusy “sparkle.”
In investigating the source of the word broa and Ms. Herbst’s assertion that the recipe for these Georgetown lime cookies comes from British Guyana (also spelled Guiana, but now simply Guyana, no British necessary) I admit to once again being a bit frustrated. Google tells me that broas are Philippine lady-fingers, and contain no lime, but sometimes include the strained contents of cans of fruit cocktail. The only other online reference to the cookie is Ms. Herbst’s own recipe, reproduced in full in a Food.com entry.
And so, I turned my attention to the word. I found that broas is the bread part of the Portuguese for corn bread. I found that, in Portuguese, broa is gem. Could this be Ms. Herbst’s sparkle? I also found that broas de mel are scones with honey in Portuguese, or cookies made with the syrup of sugarcane. But enter broas in the translator, and I get broas for the English. Enter scones and bread, I get bolinho and pão. And while Portuguese and Spanish are common second languages in Guyana, English is the dominant language. So if these are a recipe from Guyana, why Portuguese?
And why from Guyana? These are questions I may not be able to answer without visiting an actual library… However, visit Wikipedia and tell me you have no desire to go to Guyana. I don’t know if it’s that wood-frame church, or the exotic bird, or the landscape, but it looks like a lovely place to be.