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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 !!!!


Muffin or cup cake, call them what you like. This recipe is the small version, and it is good to eat them like they are without icing on the top
Country of orgin: United States of America.
Region of origin: Unknown.
Preparation : 00:15
Cooking : 00:08
Muffin or cup cake, call them what you like. This recipe is the small version, and it is good to eat them like they are without icing on the top
Country of orgin: United States of America.
Region of origin: Unknown.
Preparation : 00:15 - Cooking : 00:08
These buns are a simple coffee breads with no filling. Cardamom spice is common in Nordic countires in Eurpoe in bread, cookies, biscuits and buns. These Cardamom buns are to be eaten as they are along with coffee or tea. These buns are not good to eat for breakfast, unless you are fond of sweet bread in the morning.
Country of orgin: Finland.
Region of origin: All regions.
Preparation : 02:00
Cooking : 00:10
These buns are a simple coffee breads with no filling. Cardamom spice is common in Nordic countires in Eurpoe in bread, cookies, biscuits and buns. These Cardamom buns are to be eaten as they are along with coffee or tea. These buns are not good to eat for breakfast, unless you are fond of sweet bread in the morning.
Country of orgin: Finland.
Region of origin: All regions.
Preparation : 02:00 - Cooking : 00:10
You can find an almost infinite number of variations of the carrot cake. This is one is one of the Swedish versions of the popular cake with a lot of cinamon.
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: All.
Preparation : 00:20
Cooking : 00:30
You can find an almost infinite number of variations of the carrot cake. This is one is one of the Swedish versions of the popular cake with a lot of cinamon.
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: All.
Preparation : 00:20 - Cooking : 00:30
The Swedes are crazy about chocolate cake that is sticky in the middle (kladdkaka). This is a basic one that is common to do. To change it a bit you can add some chocolate inside or on the top of the cake.
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: All.
Preparation : 00:10
Cooking : 00:20
The Swedes are crazy about chocolate cake that is sticky in the middle (kladdkaka). This is a basic one that is common to do. To change it a bit you can add some chocolate inside or on the top of the cake.
Country of orgin: Sweden.
Region of origin: All.
Preparation : 00:10 - Cooking : 00:20
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