Stories from the north
The Swedish fika
Fika has become somewhat of a phenomenon – both the word and the actual activity. Here’s everything you need to know about fika.
What is fika?
The Swedish word ”fika” means ”to have something sweet to eat, and something hot to drink”. It could be coffee or tea together with a small cookie, a cinnamon roll or a bakery good. There are no rules in what you have for fika: as long as there’s something to eat and drink, that is less than a meal but more than a fruit.
The only rule that applies is: don’t say fika when you only mean a coffee. If you just want to grab a coffee with someone, simply say ”let’s have a coffee”. Otherwise, there could be a huge misunderstanding. Maybe even… some angry looks?
When to have fika
You can have fika at anytime, any day – as long as it’s not lunch time. Set a date with a friend a cozy café, show up hungry and treat yourself with a large latte and a huge cinnamon bun. Sitting down like this for a warm drink and something sweet to eat is the perfect way to spend time together.
Make you own fika
Of course you can invite friends or family for fika at home! Nothing says ”luxury” as much as homemade goods with a huge cup of tea or coffee. If you invite people to your house for a fika, put an extra effort into the bakery goods and let the tea or coffee speak for itself. You’re not expected to pull off a latte at home: a perfectly brewed pot of coffee served with milk on the side will make any Swede happy!
What you need for fika
Here are some suggestions and inspiration if you want to invite friends to your own Swedish fika:
- Invite people after lunch. That way you have some time to prepare without having to stress.
- Simple and delicious is key: homemade cinnamon rolls are better than store bought cake
- Make more coffee than people: the chance of ”påtår” – a second cup of coffee – is big.
Fika is not just about eating and drinking – it’s also about spending time with people you love and care about. So make sure to clear the schedule for the rest of the afternoon and enjoy the time together!