It’s nice to take a coffee break at some point during your day. It gives you a chance to refresh your mind, taking it off of your work for a few minutes, and to recharge your batteries. It also presents the opportunity to have a little snack, whether you’re having your coffee break between breakfast and lunch or between lunch and dinner. Sweden is a country with a very high coffee consumption rate and a well developed coffee break culture. Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break explores some of the most beloved recipes that are associated with fika – or coffee breaks – in Sweden, perhaps inspiring you to make the most of your own coffee breaks in the future.
The book begins with a history of Swedish coffee and the tradition of fika. Swedes have been drinking coffee since the 1600s, while the idea of fika itself dates back more than a century and is very well-ingrained in Swedish culture, whether you take your fika at the office or at home. The introduction covers the basic ingredients and techniques used in the book, offering suggestions for Swedish ingredients that are specifically called for, but that might not be easy to find at your local grocery store. After a bit of history, the book jumps into the recipes, starting with traditional recipes and moving into more modern ones.
The recipes in the book are illustrated with drawings, rather than with photos, and the drawings give it a very charming feel. The recipes are straightforward and easy to follow along with, even if these particular dishes have never been a part of your current coffee-break traditions. There are recipes for every mood, as well, whether you want to make a simple batch of cookies to serve to a crowd or a more elaborate cake for a special event. The final chapter of the book focuses on more savory breads, which can be used to make sandwiches or pair with savory ingredients for a more filling, but no less traditional, fika. The book will definitely make you want a cup of coffee and a snack, so be prepared to start baking as soon as you finish flipping through the pages.