A blaa is a bread roll peculiar to County Waterford in Ireland. It is similar to a bap, but is square rather than round, and is dusted with plain flour. It is made from a lean dough of flour, yeast, salt and water. Two varieties are available, soft and crusty. The blaa is usually cut open, buttered, and eaten with a sweet filling such as jam, or a savoury one such as sliced deli meat or sausages. Due to the lean dough used in the baking, blaas tend to go hard and stale very quickly - thus, most are sold and eaten by lunchtime.
The blaa is thought to have originated with the Huguenots who arrived in the city towards the end of the 17th century. The word itself is thought to come from the French (blé describes certain types of flour), Latin blandus, meaning bland, or Spanish blando, meaning soft.
- An Irishman's Diary, the Irish Times, March 18th, 2008. Available here (subscription required).