Have you heard of fika? You have most certainly partaken in fika, but probably under one of its inferior conceptions such as the morning tea, or a smoko. The Swedes have Sweded (a Be Kind Rewind reference for the Michel Gondry fans) the morning tea to give it a depth and richness that elevates this morning ritual from recess to reverence.
Fika is the daily ritual of taking time out of a morning to take pleasure in coffee, cake, and company. It’s not rushed, but savoured, a time to sit and enjoy a moment with your family, colleagues, friends, your thoughts, wherever you are. You could be fooled into thinking that we already do this, as we sit at the desk with a tea bag clinging to the milky residue of a corporate mug, wiping the crumbs of a scotch finger onto the carpet. On Sundays – we brunch! Sure we do, and brunch is delightful, but this is a daily custom, each one a small ceremony of small pleasurable things.
In Sweden it is standard procedure to take fika every morning and afternoon, and it should most definitely become your standard also. In fact it should be everyone’s standard, worldwide fika, fika for all. For some of you this is already common practice, and your cockles are warmed on the regular, but if this is new for you, I’m starting a fika guide to help you find your fika path. This will be a monthly collection of recommended coffee, treats, reads and listens, and I’d love to hear your recommendations too! We’re all in this together. So without further faffing about I present to you the first FIKAPAUS! Please slow down and enjoy.
Nigella Lawson’s Lemon Polenta Cake. Lemony. Very very tasty.
Congo Kawa Kanzururu. Dark chocolate, blackberries & mulberries. Pairs very well with a citrusy slice of Nigella’s cake.
A Man Called Ove by Frederick Backman. Start your Swedish custom with a Swedish novel. I recommend reading an English translation unless you feel like a challenge (which isn’t very fika) or are Swedish.
Et Moi Et Moi Et Moi by Jacques Dutronc. Not Swedish, but good if you fika at home and like to dance around the kitchen.