“Any excuse for a ‘Fika’ is a good one,” according to a sign in a Swedish Café. To ‘Fika’ simply means to meet over a cuppa and something sweet to eat.
In Sweden, it is like a religion, enjoyed several times a day. Fika with friends, co-workers and neighbours is the thing to do in Sweden.
Eating and sipping tea is one of my favourite pastimes. I’ve enjoyed it with many a willing food buff or simply with my own company.
Some 1 1/2hrs away from home, in Cairns, I find myself having lunch in a Swedish Café. Apparently they had been open two years and I’d never noticed them. As I peer into their glass cabinet, their food presentation was enticing. I was thrilled when I saw they made their food from scratch on the premises. I happily order, guided myself to a red and blue floral table-clothed table, which had caught my attention. When I saw Swedish tourists and local workers enter, I knew it was a good place to eat.
I sat relaxed, watching and observing people, while waiting for my main meal. Everyone was going about their daily business: workers, tourists and locals. Many converged, drawn to this quaint little café; to the food, the obliging staff and the welcoming smiles. As I flipped through their Swedish magazine, it kept getting busier and busier. I sat quietly in my corner table observing a couple sharing a private moment, co-workers laughing, female Swedish backpackers nodding over a map. All this lively conversation and camaraderie was over platters of scrumptious traditional Swedish food.
Outside the traffic passed, inside the music was foreign and easy listening. Dotted table settings were presented around the room with charming Swedish fabrics. Quiet conversations were in abundance and the young Swedish staff were infectiously enthusiastic as they served their customers.
Lunch & Something Sweet
My sour cream and spicy chicken on baked potato was moorishly delicious, served with a fresh crisp side salad and light dressing. Finally, the Swedish Dessert I’d been waiting for – Princess Cake; a sponge with vanilla custard, crème and a light marzipan of green icing. The subtle tasting, light melt-in-your mouth dessert was mmmm… All of this was complemented with a pot of tea, with leaves; not bags, so win win! I could get used to this Swedish Fika.