What Is Fika? A Coffee, Sweet Treat And Swedish Tradition

Many Americans enjoy a cup of coffee (or two) in the course of their day.  But two Swedish authors said they hope to educate Americans on their cultural tradition of fika.

They’re doing so with their illustrated lifestyle cookbook, “Fika: The Art Of The Swedish Coffee Break With Recipes For Pastries, Breads, And Other Treats.”

“We’ve seen a lot of change in coffee culture in the U.S. in the past 10 years or so, and I think we have more of an embrace of a slower coffee lifestyle with the rise of more cafes where people do go to sit down,” said Anna Brones, one of the book’s co-authors and editor of the food journal “Foodie Underground.”  “I think we’re all in need of something to get us to slow down.”

In Sweden, fika is a cultural institution when friends take a break from work and chat with co-workers, friends, or even alone to enjoy a cup of coffee and a treat. 

Johanna Kindvall, illustrator of the book and writer of the illustrated cooking blog kokblog, said the tradition is meant to give workers a short break to forget about work and enjoy time with co-workers.

“Most of the time, they don’t talk really about the work. It’s more about what you’re doing this weekend or the latest TV show, and so on,” she said.  “It also makes your put your focus on something else for awhile and I believe that you work better when you go back to your desk whatever you do.”

Brones and Kindvall offer dozens of recipes for some of those classics treats in the book while also exploring the tradition from it’s early begining to today.

Here are a few of the recipes included in the book:

Recipe: Hasselnötskaka Med KaffeRecipe: SemlorRecipe: VetebullarHost:Rob FerrettVeronica RueckertGuest(s):Johanna KindvallAnna BronesProducer(s):Judith Siers-Poisson