Fika, is a lovely Swedish tradition that my family has adopted with gusto. Here at home, my parents and grandparents used to have coffee and a little something in the afternoon. As kids, we called it “3 o’clock nourishment.” We wouldn’t have the coffee part until later in life.
When visiting Sweden, my sister and I noticed the increased level of energy and excitement in some very aged Swedes as Fika was announced. We made sure to step aside as the Swedish octogenarians rushed to the Fika tables.
I read through many of my mother’s recipe books and decided to bake this Swedish Apple Cake.
I modified the recipe slightly, adding an additional chopped apple into the batter, and using only one 9 inch square pan. It had to bake 45 minutes instead of 25 minutes.
There is even a book on Fika, written by Anna Brones & Johanna Kindvall.
This is part of the introduction to the book:
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 alone, you can do it with friends. 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. At its core, fika means “to drink coffee.” But the meaning goes much deeper. Fika represents an entire culture; it carries as much meaning for Swedish social engagements as it does for food customs.Brones, Anna. Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. New York, Ten Speed Press, 2015.
I was quite pleased with the cake, and made it again. Here in the Northwest, Spring is still showery and coolish, so fika is a welcome afternoon treat.