Sweden is a coffee-loving nation. In fact, the concept of having a coffee break with something sweet is so deeply rooted in Swedish everyday life, there is even a special word for it. Fika. Let’s dive into this cultural phenomenon, which has found its way around the globe, and learn about its associated baking traditions.
In the early 2000s, Scandinavian cuisine rose in popularity beyond the Nordics, establishing itself on the global food scene. An international interest in ‘fika’ soon followed suit. Beyond a passing trend, the enduring and far-flung popularity of this new, Nordic coffee experience can be found in cafés in New York, Tokyo, Taipei and as far as Melbourne in Australia.
The social importance of fika
For Swedes, fika is more than just a regular coffee break with a sweet treat. Rather than a purely culinary tradition, it is a social phenomenon that brings people together regardless of their background or circumstances. This social aspect is just as important as the tempting combination of hot coffee and sweet pastry. Fika can be enjoyed at any time of the day, but as a rule of a thumb, the most common hours are just before noon or in the later hours of the afternoon. However, the timing does not really matter, and a fika can occur at any hour.
‘Having a fika’ together is considered as quality bonding time, be it with family, friends, or coworkers. At work, many important discussions and major decisions are made over a fika or at the coffee machine. In fact, in a Swedish workplace, fika might be one of the most important meetings you have during your day! So great is its cultural dominance, our international colleagues say fika is one of the first Swedish words they learn.
A Swedish pastry renaissance
Pastry sales are booming in Scandinavia. While most cafés in Sweden offer an international selection of American muffins, French patisserie classics, and Italian tarts, there has been a renaissance in Swedish pastry culture. Though traditional pastries continue to thrive, a new generation of cafés is looking to modernise the baking scene. Prominent bakers and pastry chefs are creating a whole host of state-of-the-art pastries and unique fusions to offer customers a contemporary fika experience in cafés that are mindfully designed with a homely feel.
However, there is no doubt that Swedes love their cinnamon buns, and it is reasonable to assume they are the most eaten fika treat of all time. Who can resist that sweet dough rolled up with a swirl of cinnamon and sprinkled with pearl sugar, which creates their characteristic white dotted topping? Sweden even has a special day for the classic Cinnamon Bun. On 4th October every year, 9 million Cinnamon Buns are sold in Sweden on the official Cinnamon Bun Day alone. That is quite the number for a population of 10 million people.
Fika with Bakels Sweden
The most fika-relevant product in the Bakels Sweden range is the Remonces. Ready-to-use spreadable fillings used in thousands of cinnamon buns and other pastries in Sweden annually. Our Remonces are suitable for both craft and industrial production. Available as palm oil free, and more recently in our new Clean Label range, allowing you to meet the evolving clean label trend. Our remonces are sold in large volumes in Scandinavia and the Baltics, but are also available in the European market and China.