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Substitute for Lingonberries

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 10 December 2010 at 13:08
Growing up in the extreme upper-midwest, which is where many Scandinavians homesteaded, and having Scandinavian blood, I have some interest in this region where cooking is concerned. 
 
I see many recipes calling for lingonberries, lingonberry jam etc., but this is unavilable where I live. Someone suggested that cranberries would be about as close a substitute as can be, and that they are in fact rerlated to lingonberries. Can anyone offer any thoughts?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 December 2010 at 16:52
After some research, I found that lingonberries are indeed very closely related to the cranberry and cowberry. From what I've seen, they are pretty much interchangeable.
Go ahead...play with your food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 December 2010 at 17:59
That works ~ I will give them a try next time a recipe calls for them! 
 
Thanks for the research, it is much appreciated! Star
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 February 2013 at 22:55
After checking with the Cook's Thesarus at www.foodsubs.com.:
 
 
I discovered that, in lieu of cranberries, red currants are also a good substitute for lingonberries!Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 February 2013 at 06:21
I don't know about Chinook, Ron, but here in Kentucky red currants are as much hen's teetch as lingonberries.
 
Could you sub your own native huckleberries? Flavor profile won't be quite the same, of course, but at least they're available.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 February 2013 at 06:25
Actual huckleberries are about 300 miles to the west of me, Brook; I have seen currant bushes locally, though.
 
As far as jam/jelly, currant is available, as is cranberry, of course.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 February 2013 at 09:04
After a little reading, I figured I would post my findings. Although blueberries and huckleberries look to be related, the lingonberry is pretty unique in its properties and taste; from what I've read, the only thing that even comes close is cranberries.
 
From Wikipedia:
 
Quote Lingonberries
 
 
Vaccinium vitis-idaea (lingonberry or cowberry) is a short evergreen shrub in the heath family that bears edible sour, slightly sweet, slightly bitter fruit, native to boreal forest and Arctic tundra throughout the Northern Hemisphere from Eurasia to North America. In the past it was seldom cultivated, but fruit was commonly collected in the wild. Recently, commercial cultivation has begun in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.
 
Vaccinium vitis-idaea is most commonly known in English as lingonberry or cowberry. The name lingonberry originates from the Swedish name lingon for the species. The genus name Vaccinium is derived from the Latin word vaccinium ("of or relating to cows", from vacca "cow") for a type of berry (possibly the bilberry, Vaccinium myrtillus). The specific name is derived from the New Latin word for lingonberries, vitis-idaea; itself ultimately derived from Latin vitis ("vine") and idaea, the feminine form of idaeus.
 
Other names include csejka berry, foxberry, quailberry, beaverberry, mountain cranberry, red whortleberry, bearberry, lowbush cranberry, cougarberry, mountain bilberry, partridgeberry (in Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island), and redberry (in Labrador).
 
Vaccinium vitis-idaea differs from the similar cranberries (Vaccinium oxycoccus, V. microcarpum and V. macrocarpon) in having white flowers with petals partially enclosing the stamens and stigma, rather than pink flowers with petals reflexed backwards, and rounder, less pear-shaped berries. Other species of the genus Vaccinium include blueberries, bilberries, and huckleberries.
 
The berries collected in the wild are a popular fruit in northern, central and eastern Europe, notably in Nordic countries, the Baltic states, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine. The berries are quite tart, so they are often cooked and sweetened before eating in the form of lingonberry jam, compote, juice, smoothie or syrup. The raw fruit are also frequently simply mashed with sugar, which preserves most of their nutrients and taste. This mix can be stored at room temperature in closed but not necessarily sealed containers, but in this condition, they are best preserved frozen. Fruit served this way or as compote often accompany game meats and liver dishes. In Sweden and Norway, reindeer and elk steak is traditionally served with gravy and lingonberry sauce. Preserved fruit is commonly eaten with meatballs and potatoes in Sweden and Norway, and also with pork.
 
Lingonberry jam on Swedish black pudding
 
A traditional Swedish dessert is lingonpäron (literally lingonberry pears) which is fresh pears which are peeled and boiled in lingondricka (lingonberry squash) and then preserved in the pear-infused lingonberry squash and not uncommonly eaten during Christmas. This was very common in old times, because it was an easy and tasty way to preserve pears. In Sweden and Russia, when sugar was still a luxury item, the berries were usually preserved simply by putting them whole into bottles of water. This was known as vattlingon (watered lingonberries); the procedure preserved them until next season. This was also a home remedy against scurvy. In Russia this preserve had been known as "lingonberry water" (брусничная вода) and is a traditional soft drink. In Russian folk medicine, lingonberry water was used as a mild laxative. A traditional Finnish dish is sautéed reindeer (poronkäristys) with mashed potatoes and lingonberries, either cooked or raw with sugar. In Finland, a porridge made from the fruit is also popular. In Poland, the berries are often mixed with pears to create a sauce served with poultry or game. The berries can also be used to replace red currants when creating Cumberland sauce to give it a more sophisticated taste.
 
The berries are also popular as a wild picked fruit in Eastern Canada, for example in Newfoundland and Labrador and Cape Breton, where they are locally known as partridgeberries, and on the mainland of Nova Scotia, where they are known as foxberries. In this region they are incorporated into jams, syrups, and baked goods, such as pies, scones, and muffins.... The berry is believed to be the flavor of the popular Swedish-American candy Swedish Fish. The exact flavor of the candy is still unknown.
 
 
The berries are an important food for bears and foxes, and many fruit-eating birds. Caterpillars of the Coleophoridae case-bearer moths Coleophora glitzella, Coleophora idaeella and Coleophora vitisella are obligate feeders on Vaccinium vitis-idaea leaves.
 
Ripe lingonberriesThe berries contain plentiful organic acids, vitamin C, provitamin A (as beta carotene), B vitamins (B1, B2, B3), and the elements potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. In addition to these nutrients, they also contain phytochemicals that are thought to counteract urinary-tract infections, and the seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. V. vitis-idaea has been used as an apéritif, astringent, antihemorrhagic, anti-debilitive, depurative, disinfectant/antiseptic (especially for the urethra), a diuretic, a tonic for the nervous system, and in various ways to treat breast cancer, diabetes mellitus, rheumatism, and various urogenital conditions.
 
Regarding lingonberry jam itself, Wikipedia had another article:
 
Quote Lingonberry Jam
 
Lingonberry jam (Swedish: lingonsylt, Norwegian: tyttebærsyltetøy, Danish: tyttebærsyltetøj, Estonian: pohlamoos, Finnish: puolukkahillo, German: Preiselbeermarmelade) is a staple food in Scandinavian cuisine.
 
Because lingonberries are plentiful in the forested areas of the inland, the jam is easy to prepare, and it preserves well. It has always been very popular with traditional dishes such as kroppkakor, pitepalt, potato cake, kåldolmar, mustamakkara and black pudding. Today, lingonberries are often served as jam, for instance with oven-made thick pancakes, or they may be served as a relish with meat courses such as meatballs, beef stew or liver dishes; regionally, they are even served with fried herring. The jam is also often used on mashed potatoes and the traditional oatmeal porridge, sometimes together with cinnamon, and, perhaps, a little sugar or syrup.
 
 
Fine lingonberry jam is prepared only with berries, sugar and, optionally, a small amount of water. Cheaper varieties are diluted with apples and/or pectin. The finest lingonberry "jam" is prepared fresh by just mixing berries and sugar, without boiling; this is called rårörda lingon or rørte tyttebær (raw-stirred lingonberries). Before the use of refined sugar became common in Sweden, lingonberry jam was prepared with lingonberries as the only ingredient. Because of the benzoic acid, which is found in high amounts in lingonberries, the berries keep well without any sugar or other preservatives.
 
If anyone has an IKEA nearby, I'd appreciate it if they could take a look at this product:
 
 
 
And let me know what the ingredients are. True lingonberry jams or preserves have only lingonberries, maybe a little sugar and possibly water. Other fruits, pectin etc. should not be added.
 
If this product passes muster, I'll order some and see about doing two or three pictorials featuring it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 February 2013 at 10:49

Tas,

CONTACT IN ENGLISH:
 
BJÓRNEKULLA WHOLESALERS
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Swedish people are 2nd to the Native English speakers ... So, perhaps BJÓRNEKULLA
can provide you with a list of USA retail too ...
 
OR THIS:
 
14.1 OUNCES  $ 2.99 IN IKEA USA - SAME BRAND AS AMAZON; SYLT LINGON ...
 
1) GO TO GOOGLE.COM
 
2) TYPE IN WORDS:  IKEA USA - LINGON BERRY JAM OR MARMALADE
 
3) IT SHALL LEAD YOU DIRECTLY TO IT ... SAME AS AMAZON; SYLT BRAND ...
 
We have alot of kitchen, bath and bedding products from Ikea; as well as shelving at our not so new apartment ... and Fabulous planters too ... It is a great store ,,,
 
Too bad that the Scandinavian Market did not do well here ... They have wonderful Christmas decorations from Sweden too ... We go up there each season ...
 
Kind regards,
Margi. Big smile 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 February 2013 at 11:25
I contacted IKEA -
 
Unfortunately, it looks like their product is not available online for whatever reason, even though it can be purchased through Amazon.
 
Another brand (Felix) also looks to be available at www.iherb.com for pretty much the same price:
 
 
 
I was impressed with iherb's service last time, so I may get this product.
 
No worries - either way, I'll get some sooner or later, even if it is twice the cost....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 February 2013 at 11:53

Tas,

 
This is wonderful ... you shall note the aromas ... forest berries are magical ... I am looking forward to seeing the dish u shall serve it with.
 
Kindest.
Margi.
 
Dinner time for us ... off to have a wine round at home, raining ...
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 February 2013 at 13:00
Once you've actually tracked them down, Ron, your next challenge is to find cloud berries---the real secret ingredient of Scandinavian cookery.
 
We had the great good fortune to be on the tundra when they were ripe. Incredible doesn't come near describing them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote GarethM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 February 2013 at 04:05
Ron,

If you are still interested in the IKEA ingredients, I'll post the up on Monday.  We have some at home in the fridge.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 February 2013 at 12:20
Gareth,
 
I am sure Ron is ... Please do ... I have noticed he is not online ...
 
Note: I checked here, however, IKEA has closed its Iberian supermarkets due to crisis ... Only the bath, kitchen and brico are open ...
 
Thanks again;
Margi.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 February 2013 at 14:05
Ron, the Ikea in portland is about an hour from me, but I could swing by and check for you next time I'm over that way. On another note, my aunt runs an import store for Dutch things, and often includes other European/Scandinavian things. I can check with her to see if she has lingonberry jam.

Also, I would say probably the closest thing I've had to a lingonberry was a gooseberry from a plant my dad had in his back yard. I'm guessing they're about as hard to find as lingonberries, but if you could I assume it'd be pretty close to what you're looking for.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2013 at 17:50
Hey, everyone ~
 
Gareth and Mike, if you can get that information for me, that would be great; from my reading, it's starting to look like nearly all the commercial selections must add pectin - possibly for consistency of product, perhaps?
 
If you're not able to get the information, that's no big deal; I ordered one of each (the Ikea and the Felix brands) yesterday, in order to have aready supply and also so that I can compare them! Star
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GarethM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 February 2013 at 02:02
The IKEA Lingonberry Jam:
  • Wild Lingonberries
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Pectin
  • Citric Acid
 The label advises that 45 grms of fruit is used for every 100 grms of sugar.

Hope this helps
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 February 2013 at 06:13
Thanks, Gareth!Thumbs Up
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