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The concept of "Fika" is so deeply integrated in the Swedish culture that you can't visit Sweden without at some point being confronted with this wonderful tradition. Fika is as much Swedish, or let's say Scandinavian as American Football is American... Wherever you are in the world, meet a Swede and ask him or her for a "fika" the chances are really high you will immediately become popular with this person! Everyone makes time to take a "fika" no matter how stressful the day might have been.

If someone suggest to go for "Fika" it basically means that this person suggests to get a coffee often together with some typical coffee bread like cinnamon buns, arak balls, semlor, chocolate balls, radio cake, carrot cake, etc...

It is said that Sweden is one of the biggest coffee drinking county in the world. Everybody knows about the world famous Arabica beans growing in Sweden.... or ??? Coffee came to Sweden in the late 1600's and quickly became very popular. So popular that other imported goods suffered from this competition in such a way that the import of coffee became close to being the only imported goods. One reason of this high coffee consumption levels could be that Swedes almost exclusively drink coffee for "Fika", very few are drinking tea or hot chocolate.

Fika gives you time to socialize in different aspects. Either you have a "fika" with someone you try to get to know, or to catch up with friends and family, it is a casual gathering. It is very good to go on "fika" to break the ice... even during the hot summer... Be aware that going on a "fika" is not a date, unless it specially mentioned before, and if so it is more relaxed than a dinner date.


Fika with friends:
Taking a "fika" with your friends means time to catch up but never ever just to gossip.....or ???? But you never rush through this moment, you always let it take the time it needs. So hopefully you are not gossiping too much !


Fika out:
In a café if you take a traditional black coffee it is not uncommon that you have a refill in the price. Most of the year the weather makes everyone stay inside for the "fika". There is a big difference in the summer when all the cafés move the tables outside in the sun, and even offer a blanket when it is a bit chilly (remember it is Sweden, so it is seldom very hot...)...

Some of the most common coffee breads you will find in cafés are cinnamon buns, arak balls, or "dammsugare", carrot cake... A "dammsugare" literally means vacuum cleaner... no you are not going to eat a vacuum cleaner or it's content! The form and color reminds of the vacuum cleaners from Swedish households from the 1950s...


Fika at home:
In the beginning of the 1900s it was very common for housewives to have "kafferep", the same as "fika". During this gatherings it was obliged to serve seven different cookies or coffee breads. If you didn´t have seven of them you had to apologized to your guest for this. If you served less than seven different sorts you were cheap, but serving eight or more was considered bragging.

Nowadays the rules are a bit less strict, when you go to a friend you will bring with you some cookies or coffee bread. No one gets offended anymore if less than seven different sorts are served...


Fika at work:
At work the word "fika" is a synonym with a pause and it is really important that everyone joins the "fika". People often would called out loud "let´s take a fika", well in Swedish of course, meaning "let´s take a break."

At some workplaces, on Fridays you will often have "fika" with bread like a sandwich together with some cheese, ham, and vegetables to put on the bread. And of course everyone has the time to socialize at the same time while eating the good bread together. If the company is generous, the company is standing for the cost of the group "fikas"... Maybe a question to ask if you are going for an interview in a Swedish company....

A last important point about "fika" rules at work. In many places on Fridays you have a strict schedule on when and who is responsible to arrange "fika" which basically means that someone is responsible to bring the cake or coffee bread to share with the colleagues during the break. Of course it is a rolling schedule so every week another team member is "fika" responsible. If it is your turn to be responsible for "fika" and can't make it, you better have a really good excuse, like the birth of your child.... Ok, maybe slightly exaggerated, but you need to find a stand in for you, or you are in for some trouble... talking about stress at work...


Below you can find some very typical homemade Swedish "fika" recipes. We have more than the seven mandatory so you should be fine for your next trip to Sweden !!!!


In Sweden this rolls is known as “Dammsugare” translated it means vacuum cleaner. It is because the rolls look like the shape of and old vacuum cleaner that was common in the Swedish households from 1920 and several decade forwards.
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: All regions.
Preparation : 01:00
Cooking : 00:00
In Sweden this rolls is known as “Dammsugare” translated it means vacuum cleaner. It is because the rolls look like the shape of and old vacuum cleaner that was common in the Swedish households from 1920 and several decade forwards.
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: All regions.
Preparation : 01:00 - Cooking : 00:00
Arak is a Lebanese aniseed spirit and popular to use in this Swedish chocolate balls. With this recipe the arak balls almost taste like the balls you find in the cafés. You can change the bread crumbles against oatmeal, or biscuits like digestive.
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: All regions.
Preparation : 01:30
Cooking : 00:00
Arak is a Lebanese aniseed spirit and popular to use in this Swedish chocolate balls. With this recipe the arak balls almost taste like the balls you find in the cafés. You can change the bread crumbles against oatmeal, or biscuits like digestive.
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: All regions.
Preparation : 01:30 - Cooking : 00:00
With this recipe the chocolate balls almost taste like the chocolate balls you find in the cafés. If you prefer a more adult version you can add some whiskey or cognac. For children you can add some chocolate powder like o ´boy.
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: All.
Preparation : 00:30
Cooking : 00:00
With this recipe the chocolate balls almost taste like the chocolate balls you find in the cafés. If you prefer a more adult version you can add some whiskey or cognac. For children you can add some chocolate powder like o ´boy.
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: All.
Preparation : 00:30 - Cooking : 00:00
This is a cardamom bun dessert with almond paste and whip cream. It is a tradition to serve this in the Scandinavian countries on a Tuesday approximately 6 weeks before eastern. Be careful it is not light... but good.
Country of orgin: Finland.
Region of origin: All regions.
Preparation : 02:30
Cooking : 00:10
This is a cardamom bun dessert with almond paste and whip cream. It is a tradition to serve this in the Scandinavian countries on a Tuesday approximately 6 weeks before eastern. Be careful it is not light... but good.
Country of orgin: Finland.
Region of origin: All regions.
Preparation : 02:30 - Cooking : 00:10
This is a traditional Swedish cake, which is popular to serve at children birthdays parties. It is usually made with a layer of vanilla cream, a layer of jam or berries, a layer of whip cream and have a marzipan lid on top. It was first made for three royal princesses, but as all children are small princes and princesses they get this cake from their parents anyway.
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: Unknown.
Preparation : 00:30
Cooking : 00:40
This is a traditional Swedish cake, which is popular to serve at children birthdays parties. It is usually made with a layer of vanilla cream, a layer of jam or berries, a layer of whip cream and have a marzipan lid on top. It was first made for three royal princesses, but as all children are small princes and princesses they get this cake from their parents anyway.
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: Unknown.
Preparation : 00:30 - Cooking : 00:40
This is a traditional Swedish crumble pie is with the strawberries directly on the pie form and the crumbles on top. It is easy and quick to prepare. You can change to other berries or fruits and it will still be delicious. The best way to serve the pie is together with a vanilla sauce, vanilla cream or vanilla ice cream. It is possible to freeze the pie.
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: Unknown.
Preparation : 00:15
Cooking : 00:25
This is a traditional Swedish crumble pie is with the strawberries directly on the pie form and the crumbles on top. It is easy and quick to prepare. You can change to other berries or fruits and it will still be delicious. The best way to serve the pie is together with a vanilla sauce, vanilla cream or vanilla ice cream. It is possible to freeze the pie.
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: Unknown.
Preparation : 00:15 - Cooking : 00:25
Traditional Swedish kanelbullar is perfect for every occasion. The children love to drink milk to freshly baked cinnamon buns.
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: All regions.
Preparation : 02:30
Cooking : 00:10
Traditional Swedish kanelbullar is perfect for every occasion. The children love to drink milk to freshly baked cinnamon buns.
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: All regions.
Preparation : 02:30 - Cooking : 00:10
A homemade Swedish radio cake that doesn't require the oven for cooking. This is a cake of dark chocolate and biscuits. The name radio cake comes from the cake's appearance of an old radio from the fifty´s and also because you could eat it without disturbing the rest of the family while listening to a radio broad cast...
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: Unknown.
Preparation : 00:10
Cooking : 00:05
A homemade Swedish radio cake that doesn't require the oven for cooking. This is a cake of dark chocolate and biscuits. The name radio cake comes from the cake's appearance of an old radio from the fifty´s and also because you could eat it without disturbing the rest of the family while listening to a radio broad cast...
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: Unknown.
Preparation : 00:10 - Cooking : 00:05
This is a soft chocolate cake with a frosting that tastes like coffee and chocolate. This recipe will give you many cakes and if you do not eat them all you can put the left over ones in the freezer.
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: All regions.
Preparation : 00:30
Cooking : 00:15
This is a soft chocolate cake with a frosting that tastes like coffee and chocolate. This recipe will give you many cakes and if you do not eat them all you can put the left over ones in the freezer.
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: All regions.
Preparation : 00:30 - Cooking : 00:15
If you are having a birthday party for your child or if you are in a mood for something sweet, then these soft cookies are perfect for the occasions. A perfect combination of soft cookie together with soft toffee and chocolate.
Country of orgin: Finland.
Region of origin: All regions.
Preparation : 00:30
Cooking : 00:15
If you are having a birthday party for your child or if you are in a mood for something sweet, then these soft cookies are perfect for the occasions. A perfect combination of soft cookie together with soft toffee and chocolate.
Country of orgin: Finland.
Region of origin: All regions.
Preparation : 00:30 - Cooking : 00:15
This cake is perfect if you are not a sweet tooth but still like desserts. The bottom is foft and the topping is with cream but have a coffee taste. To make it different it is possible to sprinkle som dark chocolate on top of the cake.
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: All regions.
Preparation : 00:20
Cooking : 00:15
This cake is perfect if you are not a sweet tooth but still like desserts. The bottom is foft and the topping is with cream but have a coffee taste. To make it different it is possible to sprinkle som dark chocolate on top of the cake.
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: All regions.
Preparation : 00:20 - Cooking : 00:15
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