afternoon tea - Swedish style!

Earlier today I had the pleasure of taking high tea with my friend Sarah of Fingers and Toes - a blog largely about cooking and knitting. This was to be no ordinary high tea though, this was high tea - Swedish Style!

Sarah had very kindly invited me to join her at a pop-up Fika parlour in central London which had been organised by Visit Sweden to promote the area of Skåne in Southern Sweden.


We turned up at 12:30 (in the rain, good ol' Britain) to find that Soho Square had been transformed into a little picnic area, surrounded by a white picket fence, with a large white marquee at one end. Under the marquee there were some handsomely-table-clothed picnic benches, at which we we were invited to sit. We were given a special blend of coffee (courtesy of Swedish roasters Löfbergs Lila) before being brought a beautiful cake stand full of tiny Swedish biscuity treats.


The lovely serving ladies, in traditional Swedish dress, told us the history of Fika as we sampled some of the delicacies. The term Fika comes from the Swedish word for coffee, fik. In the early 19th Century, coffee was banned in Sweden because it was too much of a stimulant. This ban was lifted in 1822 and since then it was was even more important to take part in Fika, literally meaning 'coffee break'. Small biscuits were soon added to the tradition, and because the ingredients for biscuits were still so expensive at the time, the larger the selection of biscuits you could offer your guests, the more wealthy you would be thought. There was a lot of competition between hostesses, but the custom is to serve 7 different types of biscuits with your coffee.

The 7 types of biscuits we enjoyed today were made by Jan Hedh, the famous Swedish chocolatier and patissier, in his bakery in Malmö, in the southernmost province of Skåne. His own favourite of the biscuits we were served is the 'vaniljdiamant' (Vanilla Diamond), for which his recipe can be found here. Other Swedish favourites are 'kolabröd', a crispy toffee biscuit, for which a recipe can be found here, and 'havrekakor med russin', oatmeal and raisin cookies, for which a recipe can be found here.


If you're interested in sampling some Scandinavian treats for yourselves, check these out...



2 hellos:

fingersandtoes said...

You've blogged it already! I must catch up...

Also, we should go to the Nordic Bakery and eat cinnamon buns. Yes.

Vixie said...

I know, I was super excited when I got home! Yes, we must eat cinnamon buns, nyom!

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