12.43 Söndag, 19 Maj, 2013
An important part of Swedish culture is a tradition known as fika. The word fika is a uniquely Swedish word that can be used as either a noun, a verb, or an adjective, and which has no equivalent in English. The best description would probably be ‘to have coffee with someone.’ Basically, when you ‘ta en fika’ (take a fika), you sit down in a café, a konditori (a café that specializes in fika), at home, or some other non-work-related place and have a conversation while drinking coffee and eating fikabröd. What is fikabröd, you ask? Well, bröd means ‘bread,’ so fikabröd is ‘fika bread,’ which could be anything from a piece of cake to a pastry to the famous Swedish kanelbulle (cinnamon roll) or even a sandwich.
I’m not an expert on coffee, but Swedish coffee seems a little different from American coffee, and I like it better. For example, it is common not put large amounts (if any) of cream in your coffee; rather, it seems that sugar (or maybe milk) is the most common thing for Swedes to add to their coffee. Also, coffee rarely comes in jumbo sizes – and almost never in ‘venti’ sizes, because there are only three Starbucks in Sweden. Generally, coffee comes in cups the size of the ones in the picture below or slightly larger. The cup size doesn’t seem to hinder Swedes’ coffee-drinking ability, though, because Sweden is still one of the highest consumers of coffee in the world (second only to Finland)!
Coffee and a coconut cake