Pros: Crispy and quite gingery. A delectable deal when on sale. Not made in China.
Cons: I bet the original "Swedish Bakery" recipe didn't include artificial flavor and sodium benzoate.
I admit it. I love a bargain. In my quest to become a smarter shopper, the aisles at my (no longer so local) CVS Pharmacy require periodic inspection. Ive discovered that, under the right circumstances (combining sales, coupons, rebates), I can clean-up with those 2-for-1 deals on unscented Tide and the weekly steals-on-cereal deals.
As an avid baker, the cookie aisle holds less of an interest. The occasional Chips Ahoy! will do in a pinch, but I can do better and cheaper at home. Using ginger root, Ive constructed a mean Ginger Bread, but achieving perfection with the assemblage of a ginger cookie is not always the snap it should be.
Thanks to a 1929 brainstorm from Anna Karlsson of Stockholm, Sweden, The most beloved ginger cookie in the world was born. So popular were they, even the king (By appointment to H.M. The King of Sweden) muscled-in on the action. Some 80-odd years later, their inventory has increased to include thins of the Almond, Cappuccino, Chocolate Mint, Lemon, Orange and Vanilla varieties. The Organic Ginger Thin is also available for those who wish to partake of compounds containing carbon (Websters literal translation of organic).
Thins vs. Wafers
The appearance of artificial flavor notwithstanding, these thins have a strong, almost peppery ginger attitude no doubt due to the accompaniment of cinnamon and clove. The overall flavor is strong, but the finish is clean with no trace of unpleasant after-taste.
Brittley crisp to the point of explosive would best describe the physical nature of Annas Ginger Thins. Non-meticulous munchers will wind-up wearing a good portion of this cookie, should they choose the conventional chomp. Proper etiquette affords two options break the cookie into pieces before eating, or stuff the complete cookie in a mouth full of milk a method popular here in the Man Cave.
Swedish Recipe Canadian Construction
According to information posted at their website, in 2002, Annas set up shop at a modern facility in High River, Alberta, Canada, to satisfy North American demand for their product. Currently, more than 1,950,000 thins are produced daily.
As the package states, these cookies are Made in Canada from Domestic and Imported ingredients which have been carefully selected to faithfully match those used at our Swedish bakery. Sure wish I knew what Swedish thing they squeezed that artificial flavor from.
The good news is that a Serving Size (28g. 140 calories) is equal to 6 cookies. The bad news is that, due to their petite personality, 6 of these cookies dont really add-up to much. Also on the plus side, Trans Fat and Cholesterol get the goose-egg; while other numbers such as Sodium and Saturated Fat hover in the single-digits.
Aside from the mystical Artificial Flavor, all other ingredients listed (sans preservative Sodium Benzoate), are those found on the shelves of most household pantries. Annas Ginger Thins are sweetened with beet and cane sugars (9 g. per serving), which I find preferable to the off-taste and considerable health concerns of the increasingly ubiquitous High Fructose Corn Syrup.
The sugars used are refined with broken sea shells (diatomaceous earth) rather than bone char. This would explain the websites Allergy Alert for Shellfish. Neither method sounds particularly appetizing. Other potential allergy concerns include: Milk, Tree Nuts, Peanuts, Sesame Seeds and Eggs.
Delgaditas de Jengibre
It seems odd to me that a Swedish company doing business in Canada for the North American market should adopt Spanish as the second language for their packaging. Canadians are quite strict in regard to the official English/French language protocol that exists north of the border. Perhaps the solution to this mystery lies in the same file drawer that contains the secret artificial flavor formula?
Annas user-friendly website provides nearly every morsel of information the consumer could wish to learn about their products and then some. Swedish folklore has run amok at Annas with the advent of the Wish Cookie. According to legend, if you place a Ginger Thin in the center of your palm and tap it with your index finger, you will get your wish provided it breaks into three pieces. Any more or less and youre doomed to a life of monotonous drudgery. Just Kidding!!!. Threes the charm, but two or four are just as tasty.
Another Swedish tradition concerns not cookies, but domestic help. If a maid curtsies three times at the first new moon of the new year, the next single man she meets will become her husband. Not sure if this also applies to butlers, valets or game keepers, but all six-foot-three of me felt obliged to participate (seeing that I do all the housework) for scientific purposes.
Initially, I discovered that tall men are structurally incompatible to the curtsey. However, if I should get hitched, youre all invited to the Black Tie/Pot Luck celebration.
Annas Ginger Thins
Net Wt. 5.25 oz. (150g.)
Price Paid: $1.79 (US)
Lotus Bakeries North America Calgary, Inc.
High River, Alberta, Canada, T1V 1P6