shea butter

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shea butter (usually uncountable, plural shea butters)

  1. A slightly yellowish or ivory-colored natural fat extracted from fruit of the shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa) by crushing and boiling, widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizer and an emollient, as a cooking oil in West Africa, and sometimes used in the chocolate industry as a substitute for cocoa butter.
    • 1799, Mungo Park, chapter XXI, in Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa, page 279:
      About two o'clock in the afternoon, a sort of hasty pudding, with a little Shea butter, is the common meal; but the supper constitutes the principal repast, and is seldom ready before midnight.
    • 2004, Brenda Chalfin, Shea Butter Republic, Psychology Press, →ISBN, page 179:
      Shea butter is sold by hundreds of small firms who package and reformulate the butter under their own labels, purporting to by-pass the depersonalizing tendencies of mass-production and mass-marketing. []


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