Book Review: Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break

FIka

Firstly, what is Fika?

…coffee plus something to eat…

.. the moment that you take a break, often with a cup of coffee… and find a baked good to pair with it.

Further to truly “Fika” (used as a verb):

requires a commitment to making time for a break in your day, the creation of a magical moment in the midst of the routine and he mundane. Mika is the time when everything else is put on hold.

My grandmother is Swedish. She was born here in the US, but from what I understand retained a strong Swedish tradition. In the past year or so I’ve found myself drawn more and more to further discovering that heritage. So when I saw this book available for a review I jumped at the chance.

This book, Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall goes into a bit of the history of Fika; both what it is and how it’s evolved over the years. It then delves into the recipes.

It’s broken into six chapters, each delving into a different aspect of Fika (modern-day, outdoor, and bread and sandwiches are just a few examples). Following a short little essay pertaining to each topic is a collection of recipes.

I would have submitted this review a few weeks back, but I decided that I absolutely needed to try a few recipes first!

I tried two that were chocolate based: kärleksmums (chocolate coffee squares) and chokladbollar (chocolate balls) and kronans kaka (almond potato cake).

The coffee squares turned out great (except I think I left them in the over about 3 minutes too long). But the flavor. Oh my! Actually the flavor of all three of the desserts was amazing. I found them to be very “grown up”. What I mean by that: (the first two) were chocolate. But they weren’t the sticky sweet chocolate that we normally associate with a chocolate dessert. That didn’t stop my kids from eating them. 🙂

There were also a few gluten free options (the chocolate balls and almond potato cake were both GF).

Something to keep in mind: if you aren’t keen on using a lot of butter then keep in mind that a lot of these recipes have butter as their starting base. I definitely wouldn’t classify these as “healthy”, but my view on desserts is: I would much rather have desserts made with real ingredients (real butter, milk and sugar) than a low-fat variety. Because at the end of the day desserts are still desserts and moderation is key 🙂

~~~~~~

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
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3 thoughts on “Book Review: Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break

  1. Dear Ruth Anne, I do not know the word Fika, and my parents were not into the afternoon coffee break as much as the bedtime coffee, which was always accompanied by some sweet baked goods. My mother was a good cook and baker, but when I was a child, coffee was not for children. I remember the bedtime coffee break from visiting my parents when we were on furlough.

    You certainly are right about the butter. I know that is where I acquired my love of real butter. Just reading your review makes me long for the coffee breads I used to know. I noticed that one recipe you picked contain almonds or almond flavor. That is a beloved flavor to all Swedes.

    Love, Grandma

    1. Many of the recipes have almond in them. I still want to try some more, but I can’t make too many desserts. I always remember you guys having coffee in the evenings before bed. 🙂
      Love, Ruth Anne

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