Something Swedish

My First Fika: “Min Först Fika”


First thing’s first- “Fika” doesn’t translate directly to English very well. It can mean “coffee” or “coffee break” or “to have coffee,” but its really none of the above. Fika is a social activity more so than just drinking coffee, per say. Its an important part of the day to sit down with friends or co-workers to take a break and have some coffee (or Tea or hot chocolate!)  along with sweet delicious pastries. You can’t slurp down a McDonalds coffee to go with someone while walking somewhere and call that a fika.

Yesterday I was invited to fika with two friends. The three of us found a small quaint coffee house, it was only almost noon so it was rather empty. We sat down for an hour and chatted over our hot beverages and sweets. It was nice to socialize and get out of the apartment with other people. Two of us decided on the hot chocolate (loaded with whipped cream and marshmallows) with blueberry pie (Blåbärspaj) and the third ordered a latte with a rich chocolate desert. I was preoccupied and forgot to take a photo of my fika! So, here is an accurate flkr photo (Erik Borälv) I found online:


Swede’s love their food smothered in sauce or cream- Yummy, I love it! (My Pie had more cream than that by the way) How they stay so skinny compared to the obesity in America, who knows!? I will say that it probably has something to do with preservatives. Do you know how many loaves of bread I’ve had to throw out this month? I still haven’t learned that it isn’t packed with the same preservatives and can’t stay good for as long as I’m used to! There’s even less sodium preservatives in T.V dinners, which really baffled me.

Anyway, hubby came back from Denmark two days ago and greeted me with hugs, kisses and…liquor!? Yep! Booze is expensive in Sweden and a bit cheaper in Denmark (and even cheaper in Germany), so it is very common for people to buy their liquor while they are in Denmark or Germany if possible (even if it means a special trip, sometimes). To add to the train of buying liquor elsewhere, Norwegians often buy in Sweden because it is cheaper here. And no, I have no idea why the Bacardi Razz is dressed in a robe.


14 thoughts on “My First Fika: “Min Först Fika”

  1. I was wondering if swedes are slimmer because of the flatbreads – the calories in them are very low, and instead of making a sandwich they have a topping – so far fewer carbs are eaten.

    • True! Good point, open bread sandwiches without the white bread certainly is a big difference and much healthier! (I have a list of topics that I can talk about in the future and one of them is Swedish sandwiches because they are so different!)

  2. You husband works in Denmark? So do mine!

    He works at a firm in Copenhagen managing a section of a big firm, very proud of him.

    Cool liquor! Thought, we usually get our stuff from Germany 🙂

    • My husband has to travel for work from time to time- different countries depending on the projects he is working on and the papers that he writes. This time he had to make a presentation in Denmark 🙂

  3. I think it has to do more with the amount of calories, not preservatives. And the size of things. I remember my dad being horrified when he ordered food at a restaurant in the US. “It was so much, I couldn’t eat it all!” He was also horrified that some of his american colleagues considered potato chips as lunch, and such could eat a whole bag. The amount of soda drunk in the US is probably a lot higher than Sweden as well. Soda is like liquid sugar 😉

    • Haha, Yes. That is actually something I have on my list of topics to cover (but I write so much about food that I need to spread it all out) My husband had to learn over the course of a few visits to STOP ordering a large in the U.S. The soda is outrageously large, I agree. I can’t even imagine how people drink that thing in one sitting, its practically a whole bottle in a different container. So, yes. You are completely correct. Portion size is very different, however to be fair I have seen my share of Swedes put away a lot of food in one sitting on a regular basis.

  4. On another note, I wouldn’t consider “pie” as food 😉 I don’t think you’d ever hear a swede label pie as “mat”. But I guess it can be a translation issue, and how we use our respective words for what we eat. But still, it has always puzzled me. 🙂

    • Oh, I wasn’t only referring to the pie when I said Swedes love a lot of cream and sauce! That was an old observation of meat and potatoes, and then the pie fell into the same yummy way of eating. Of course, I was however grouping it all together, so I see your point 🙂 If its edible, we categorize it as food. Of course there are subcategories which are used more often, such as “pastries” and “dessert,” which I would assume is similar to how you would categorize it in Swedish?

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  10. I was just in sweden and even though they love tons of sweets and breads cheeses etc the society either walks everywhere (after the bus or train ride) or is riding their bicycles to and from work or the grocery store. Very active society. Wonderful country.

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