Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fika Break: Sweden's Best-kept Tradition

One little four-letter word pretty much sums up something very special going on in Sweden.  Fika. I have gone by myself, with Wes, and with others.  Konditori is the place: sweets, breads and hot beverages are the choices.


                                      (Shown here at the Weiner Konditori in Jönköping: Krista and Julie Bladel, Jan Bjorkman)

You can fika morning, afternoon and evening. The closest thing back home to fika is a coffee break, but this doesn't even come close to the experience here in Sweden! Like a bakery, you go to the counter to select your treat.  Then you go to an eating area - a charming eating area at that - and enjoy the candles, flowers and conversation surrounding you while you sit, eat and break away from the routine of the day.

                           (Shown here: my solitary fika at the Varmland Museum in Karlstad with my beloved chocolate ball.
                                                     It is a crime that I do not drink coffee in this land of coffee-drinkers.)

Of course these fika breaks also occur in places other than the konditori.  My very favorite fantastic
festive fabulous fika (try saying that five times fast) was at the home of our young Swedish friends
Simon and Sofia.  (Our son, John, met Simon in Sweden at SVF in 2005, then Simon spent the next semester back at North Park in 2006.  He and Rasmus whipped up authentic Swedish pancakes in our home kitchen and spent Easter with us.)  Simon is now married to Sofia and they are renovating an old home to their standards, working so very hard on this project!  This fika was perfection:  home-made chocolate pudding topped with cream and blackberries, home-made cake by Simon's grandmother, cookies, coffee and tea. 

Our time together passed much too quickly, and it was time to get on with our travels and destination.
But, the beauty of fika is that it allows you time to sit down and share conversation, ideas, plans,
journeys, dreams, updates, memories and just "being."  This memory, dear Simon and Sofia, will linger long after we return to our home as we remember you in your home. 



1 comment:

Spirit Bear said...

I could just live on Fika - three meals a day! You are inspiring me. The pudding and blackberries and cream: divine. Do all these friends speak English or are you doing Swedish?
I hope you will be doing a book; these pictures are heaven.