What is Fika? | Why is it so important in Sweden?

What is Fika? | What does it mean and why is it so important in Sweden?

What is Fika? | Why is it so important in Sweden?

The Danish have hygge and Swedes have fika and lagom! If you know a Swedish person, you will have probably come across the term “fika” before. Fika means to have something to eat with friends, family or colleagues and spend some time together. You take a break and socialise while enjoying something to drink and usually something tasty to eat too.

Swedes drink a lot of (strong) coffee but other fika drinks could be tea, pop, smoothie or juice or similar too. Snacks to go along with fika could be a simple small sandwich, Swedish scones or — more often — something sweet.

What is Fika? | What does it mean and why is it so important in Sweden?

A few sweet favourites that you’re likely to come across in Sweden in homes, shops and cafés include:

  • Kanelbullar – Cinnamon Rolls. Soft and fluffy sweet dough rolls filled with cinnamon, butter and sugar. There are lots of variations on these too. I love the ones with pistachio nuts!
  • Kladdkaka – Sticky Cake. Kladdkaka is a very simple chocolate cake that you can make at home with things you probably already have in. It’s not got any baking powder in it so doesn’t really rise and has a very sticky, underbaked consistency.
  • Semla. A Semla is a small, wheat flour bun that is flavoured with cardamom and filled with almond paste and whipped cream. These are enjoyed in February/March in Sweden for Fettisdagen/Shrove Tuesday (direct translation: “Fat Tuesday”).
  • Lussebullar – Saffron Buns. Saffron buns are enjoyed in December for Lucia and around Christmas time and are a simple twisted wheat bun flavoured with saffron and decorated with raisins.
  • Chokladbollar – Chocolate Balls. Made with oats, butter, sugar, cocoa, coffee and vanilla extract all mixed together and rolled into balls that you roll in desiccated coconut.

Fika can be done at any time of the day and there’s no limit to how many fikas you can have in one day to my English husband’s amusement! “What, you’re having cake again??” Yes, yes, we are…

Taking time out to have a fika can be a much needed break to recharge during the work day or a nice way to hang out with friends and family.

Bonus fact: Fika is both a noun and a verb.

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