Monday, January 31, 2011

Singoalla, Swedish Cookies

Singoalla is a Swedish brand of shortbread sandwich cookies with raspberry jam filling and vanilla cream. Well, Singoalla also has licorice, lemon, and lemon/lime flavors, but I've only tried the raspberry which is what can be found at our local Ikea.

The cookies themselves are vegan ingredient-wise, but might have traces of milk products due to being produced in a factory where other products are made. Also, I don't know what kind of process the sugar they use comes from. C'est la vie. My personal choice is to buy vegan sugar for at home baking, but not to worry about processed sugar so much otherwise.

And the cookies are really good. They take vanilla cream sandwich cookies to a whole 'nother level with the raspberry jam. If you're cruising the furniture at Ikea, stop by the little food section and see what goodies they have. I'm sure they also have some lingonberry jam for you to try on some potato pancakes.

I am pretty sure these cookies are named after the famous Swedish novel, Singoalla, about the love of a Swedish, Christian knight and a pagan gypsy named Singoalla during the middle ages. Singoalla was a very popular novel in Scandanavian literature written in 1857 by Viktor Rydberg, and the author himself was very important to Swedish culture.

You can read the book free online (and probably download it too) HERE. The other English title of the book is The Wind is My Lover. French and Swedish movies were made of the novel, titled Singoalla natively, and released under the title "Gypsy Fury" in the United States. But good luck finding the movies.

For more contemporary Swedish and Swedish-inspired goodies, check out the Wallander books by Henning Mankell, or the movies of the series starring Kenneth Branagh from PBS. I also highly recommend the Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larrson, both the books and the very excellent Swedish movies (you can stream the first two in the series on Netflix right now, with the third due out in February.)

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