i just finished perusing this charming book and i’d like to book my (perhaps one-way) ticket to sweden, please. i have always admired the spanish siesta and the realxed european approach to life. in “fika” i learned about the swedish version. as a coffee and pastry lover (i love it even more when the two are combined) it’s hard not to get behind the concept of fika. it is a break in the day (often twice daily) where you slow down and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and a baked good. it can be enjoyed alone or with friends, outside or in, at home or in public. it literally means “to drink coffee,” but it has become more than a word, it is a tradition and way of living. “to truly fika requires a commitment to taking time for a break in your day, the creation of a magical moment in the midst of the routine and the mundane.” i love that. and i realize that i have participated in fika before. those rare times where i take time to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a special treat or snack have always had a “magical” feel to it. imagine having that everyday (sometimes twice!) those times have been wondrously cozy which i have learned in swedish is referred to as “mysig.”
as we all know, we are too hurried in our life here in the states. coffee breaks here are synonomous with quick, fast, and on the go. alternatively, fika is slow, mindful, and simple. coffee breaks in america rarely are an actual break. your coffee and snack are of the convenient variety and are usually consumed while working. fika is a true break from work. many workplaces have a “fikarum,” a room designated for “fikarast,” a time dedicated to fika.
the book not only boasts the benefits of fika, but gives you the essentials to incorporate fika into your everday life. there are many recipes. mostly of baked sweets, since fika often includes a sweet treat. it is not limited to sugary snacks, though. you’ll find recipes for jams, preserves, cordials, savory breads and crackers and traditional “smorgas” selections. most of the recipes are versatile, giving you options for variations. there are many gluten-free choices, too. the books is peppered with adorable illustrations of fika mise en scene and paraphernalia. tidbits of history and swedish culture are interspresed with the recipes. most of the recipes seem simple and some of the more traditonally complicated ones have been simplified for the novice baker. the methods of swedish fika baking are essentially simple as a part of the fika mentality is going back to the basics, using real, wholesome ingredients and old fashioned techniques instead of newfangled contraptions and convenience fixings. i flagged many pages to revisit to try out the recipes and i already know that i’ll be making one of these cookies for my work christmas cookie exchange. the hard part is deciding which one. they all sound so delicious. in fact, i’m “fikasugen” (to have a fika craving) right now to sit and ponder it. and why not? because “fika!”
i received a copy of “fika” from blogging for books in exchange for this honest review.