Unique to Albi, gimblettes date back to the Middle Ages: the dough, made from flour, sugar, water, eggs, candied citron and grated lemon zest, is left over night then formed into rings and boiled, then brushed with egg and baked until golden.
Gimblettes were made during Lent in ring shapes so they could be hung on boxwood or bay trees on Palm Sunday, to make it easy for them to be blessed.
In the 18th century, they were so popular that hundreds of thousands were made in Albi and even exported to Paris. The traditional recipe has all but died out (bakeries make them, but from softer brioche dough).
Although the authentic old-fashioned gimblette is now hard to find, the same technique is still used in another Tarnais snack, the échaudés de Carmaux.
Image by Martineacknin, creative commons license