The Meaning of Fika in Sweden Spoiler: it's actually something quite nice

By Abi King | Europe

Nov 26
sweet love fika

what is fika

What is Fika, Anyway?

Fika. So said the letters, so said my host. It was not yet four in the afternoon and I began to brace myself.

The word fika, I decided, had all the hallmarks of a potent local spirit, the sort that could stand in for paint stripper on an identity parade and would give you a headache as soon as look at you.

My second best guess was that fika involved some kind of furniture shop with utensils made from see-though lime green plastic.

Happily, both guesses were wrong.

Fika, as it turns out, is something of a social institution in Sweden.

sweet love fika

Pronounced fee-ka, the best explanation I’ve heard so far is that fika is a kind of “afternoon tea” half-remembered with a touch of romantic indulgence from England in the 1950s.

Apparently fika can be both a noun (let’s have some fika) and a verb (let’s fika now…) but like those other delicious letters in the Swedish alphabet (an ö, an å and an ä for example) I’m still getting to grips with the whole thing.

Fika often involves tea or coffee, with a cinnamon flavoured cake thrown in to melt away the cold outside.

Here at the Saltsjobad Hotel in Ystad, our fika involved custard-based Princess Cake and a cup of hot Sweet Love.

Not a bad introduction to a country.

Tack så mycket Sverige – Jag ser fram emot att få veta mer. Thank you very much, Sweden. I look forward to finding out more. (According to Google translate at least…)

Have you ever tried fika?

Disclosure: I’m travelling to Skäne as a guest of Visit Sweden. All views, words and fika tastings are all my own. As usual…

Fika Saltsjobad Hotel & Ystad

Follow along on #visitSkane on twitter

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