Today I’m reviewing Fika : The Art of the Swedish Coffee Breakm with recipes for pastries,breads, and other treads by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall. It is a book dedicated to a lovely part of Swedish life- a designated coffee break that is accompanied by pastries often homemade. A delicious reason to slow down and enjoy life.
I was very curious about this particular tradition as there is something similar in my culture as well. Every Russian sits down to drink some tea with pastries, buns or cookies at least once a day. I was delighted to find that there is a culture that has the same daily ritual. This book explains the tradition in depth and many delicious recipes are provided.
The book is separated into sections, each section contains appropriate recipes. Introduction explains what exactly fika is and how to incorporate it into daily life. It lists the ingredients –all are fairly simple, authors include regional specialties, but considerately replace with ingredients more widely available to American audience. List of tools is also included, and again, all are very simple. Chapter 1 deals with history of Swedish coffee taking and includes recipes for staple pastries and buns (mmm, cinnamon and cardamom buns). Chapter 2 talks about fika on the go and at the workplace, the recipes accompanying this section are meant to be consumed outside of home. Chapter 3 is about warm months and includes delicious summer recipes (fruity pastries, jams and cordials). Chapter 4 is dedicated to holiday season- I am super excited to try buns and cakes, as well as mulled wine, come winter holidays. Appreciated little notes on special celebrations. The final chapter on breads, snacks and sandwiches concludes the book.
Overall impression: Loved the recipes, all are super simple to put together. It was interesting how there were no recipes for the coffee drinks. I guess the pastries are more important, or the Swedish are not too crazy about making complicated coffee concoctions (and frankly, I can see why:)). Loved the drawings for each chapter, Just like the recipes, illustrations are clear and simple. Loved all the Swedish throughout the book, introduction to the culture, and the food and the language in one book– heaven. I am excited to explore Swedish food beyond IKEA cafe, and this book will be a huge help. Loved the message of stopping and enjoying life while having a coffee, however busy the day is and how well this mindset agrees with my own upbringing. Five stars.
I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.