Once again some cultural differences will be evident in the names of the products I'll be discussing today. As I've mentioned previously (see May 13, 2017 post), some places, notably the U.K., Ireland, and other English-speaking, former British colonies, call thin, individual-serving sized dessert-type pastries "biscuits," while here in the U.S. we call these "cookies." To Americans, a "biscuit" is a savory-type roll, often used as a side dish, covered in butter or gravy. Well it gets even more confusing this time. The foods I ate are named various kinds of "crisps." Which is what folks in the U.K. call salty, crunchy potato chips, while referring to what Americans call "French fries" or just "fries" as "chips." To add to the fun, under the brand name for the products I'll be talking about it reads, "for good cookies."
All these cookies I tried were made by a Swedish company called Gille. This company was started by Tord Einarsson in 1967. By the 1980's they'd successfully expanded into Germany, Norway, and Denmark. By the 1990's Gille became the market leader in Sweden. After this they were absorbed by the conglomerate Continental Bakeries North Europe AB. Continental is wonderfully ancient--it was started by Jacob Bussink in Deventer, in what is now The Netherlands, way back in 1593! Some of Gille's other cookie offerings include ginger snaps, blueberry rings, apple oat crisps, sweet cardamom, and punschrolls, a traditional Swedish pastry covered in green marzipan with its ends dipped in chocolate. Their website also mentions how they use very little food coloring, rarely use preservatives, don't use trans fat, and utilize only sustainably-grown palm oil. They also avoid using peanuts and hazelnuts, evidently because of some peoples' severe allergic reactions to these substances.
The three Gille cookie kinds I got were the orange flavored oat crisps, the sweet oat crisps, and the double chocolate crisps. (The last is their best seller.) Each cookie type was round and about 6 cm. (about 2.5 inches) in diameter. The orange oat crisps also had chocolate on them, in the form of thin stripes. I tasted the oats and chocolate up front, and an orange tinge at the end. These were pretty good. Respectable, but not spectacular. I guess orange and chocolate isn't the best flavor pairing for me. The double chocolate crisps were, of course, two thinner cookies stacked onto each each other. One side was glazed, and the other side was coated in chocolate chunks. The flavor pairing of chocolate and oats was better than that with both of these and orange. This cookie could maybe have been a little sweeter (or maybe I'm used to (possibly) overly sugary sweet American cookies). Again I'd rate these as solid, but not great. Finally, I liked the plainer sweet oat crisps the best. Yet again these weren't overly sweet, but for this one it seemed to work better (oddly, the first ingredient for all 3 cookies types was sugar, so I don't know why they didn't taste that sweet). Just the simple oat taste was the most pleasing to me, and this is the one I'd buy again. Plus, even the other two were decent, so I'd certainly give other Gille cookies (or "crisps," or whatever) a chance.
Finally, I noticed on the Gille website that famous drag artist "Babsan" helped the company celebrate their 50th anniversary on May 24th of this year. It would appear that Babsan is Sweden's answer to Dame Edna, or RuPaul.