Making Fika!

After seeing the Cunard liners (do you know the joke? Keep reading to the bottom to see it!) on Monday we went into the toon (sneaky Newcastle reference there!) and went to Waterstones.

After having bought books for Sarah, promised books to David and tried to force something printed on James ("Listen, Mum, I'd rather have more money on my Steam account")  I spent a happy 15 minutes (I counted) looking at cookery books. Have you seen my sidebar? I now have a direct link through to Amazon and my favourite cookbooks. If you click through and buy from there, I actually make a little cash, now I'm an Amazon Associate. (not a lot; I won't be living the highlife on the percentage I get)

I am still loving all things Scandi, so I went looking at the regional cookbooks. There are a few that tempted me to pull out my birthday cash, but then I saw The One, the one that I knew I wanted to buy, to use and to share with you, my friends.

Fika; The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall

Fika is the Swedish word for a coffee break. It's a created word, made by putting the syllables of caffe in reverse order; ca-ffe becomes ffe-ca. Clever. eh? I can think of a few more words that would benefit from this (offuch for the person you don't like but don't absolutely want to wind up?)
It's a break, a chance to sit and rest in the day, any and every day, and to pause. The book sums it up thus;
Functioning as both a verb and a noun, the concept of fika is simple. It is the moment that you take a break, often with a cup of coffee, but alternatively with tea, and find a baked good to pair with it. You can do it at home, in a park, or at work. But the essential thing is that you do it, that you make time to take a break: that's what fika is all about.
The book is 160 pages, separated into 5 chapters that look at various aspects of fika; A History of Swedish Coffee, Modern-day Fika,  The Outdoors Season, Celebrating more than the Everyday and Fika as a snack. Each chapter has about 10 recipes, with swedish names that whet the appetite, like apelsinsnittar, fikonrutor, karleksmums and mandelkaka. The recipes are all for cakes or cookies, and the swedish favourite flavours of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and especially cardamon are there in force.
I haven't made any yet, I have a few already ear-marked for later on this week, when I want to fika with the family. And once Sarah discovers that the swedes, like her, love skurna chokladkakor she will be making them until we are tired of fika! (although she who is tired of fika is tired of life!)

And the joke;
Man from Southampton; My Dad works for Cunard.
Scouser; Yeah, My Dad works hard, too.

(That's for Lisa!)


  1. It sounds like coffee breaks are very important to their culture. I've always been interested in various cultural coffee and tea rituals and traditions. That looks like a really nice book.

    1. I am enjoying reading it. And I think breaks should be important in every culture. I know people don't have the time every day, but sometimes there's a lot to be said for an afternoon pause and a rest with drink and nibbles.

  2. "offuch" - love it - I work with one or two of those. And can just about get the Cunard joke if I do the accents. I love the idea of a coffee break being a contemplative pause in the day - kind of like meditation with calories? Looking forward to seeing some of your fika recipes...

    1. Ar ay, Judy, are you sayin I'm scouse? Calm down, calm down, ay, there's a lorra lorra thinkin in that joke there, la!
      And I love the idea of meditation with calories. Yes, indeedy, that's the effect I'm after. Now that's MY kind of meditative trance!

  3. No, I didn't know the joke, very funny. I love books like this but I find I end up making very few things from them, I think I'm a bit stuck in my ways and go back to the same recipes time and time again. Looking forward to seeing what you make, you might just tempt me out of my comfort zone.

    1. As long as I can get to the cupboard for Sarah being there, I will be making something later this weekend! I am on fire!!!

  4. Sounds like a great book!! Enjoy!! xx

    1. I will do! And I'll be back to tell you what the stuff was like!

  5. Thanks for the persoanlised joke! Yes, it's one quoted down here many times!
    I do like the sound of this book and the while fika ethos sounds like something we should absorb. As well as a few pastries of course.
    May have to be do further investigations.
    Lisa x


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