my evening snack tonight. swedish style. crunchy-ish bread with butter & cheese. real butter. real cheese. yummy cheese. that don’t come pre-packaged and pre-sliced. i get to slice it myself with a cheese slicer – an acquired talent (which i have now successfully acquired). strawberry yogurt. r.e.a.l. yogurt. americans, you have no idea what yogurt can & should taste like. this stuff is amazing. you pour it, so it’s not clumpy; it doesn’t come in little individualized yoplait cartons, but a large package (it looks like a juice carton); and it is sooo creamy and delicious. i’m serious. this is good stuff. and of course, a little vitamin c from my orange juice.
it was a perfect little snack. my only complaint… swedes don’t seem to be as thirsty as americans. every meal/snack involves something that i would call a juice glass. whether it’s water, juice, coke, or cider. now, me. i’m used to a big ole glass, which is most likely gonna be refilled at least once during my meal. because, hey, refills are free. of course, at home, i refill my glass myself… about 100 times it seems. i find myself parched all the time. it’s not that common to see swedes walking around/driving/biking with bottles of water, coke, etc. nope. you drink when you eat.
of course, i’m the rebel at the church where i work when it comes to this. we have fika (morning snack/break) around 9:30 with open-faced, cheese sandwiches & coffee. good, huh? and really good to have a break & chat with co-workers. but, when fika is over, everyone cleans up their spot, puts away their dishes, and heads back to their work spaces to resume responsible behaviors. i, however, throw away my trash, push in my chair, thank everyone, and then, with my mug in my hand, head to the coffee pot to refill (see? told ya) my coffee cup and carry it upstairs with me to my office. i’m a cheater. i like the fika break, but i also like to sip on my coffee while i work. it’s cozy. and i feel like a grown-up. and the coffee tastes soooo good. so far, no one has said anything to me, i’m sure they just chalk it up to the fact that i’m a foreigner. being a foreigner can give you lots of handy excuses to do dumb and un-ettiquttal things (think i just made up that word). and i make sure that i use them whenever i can, to get by with whatever i can.
snacks in sweden happen quite often. it is typical to have a snack (fika) break both during the mid-morning (as i mentioned above) and during the mid-afternoon. even in the mid-evening at some point. fika is a way of life for swedes. getting together with someone is definitely cause for a fika, a snack. this is a culture built on sharing food, conversations, and friendships. not a bad custom to have, huh? and the snacks during fika… well, they range from open-faced sandwiches, to fruit, to cakes, to cinnamon buns, to chocolate, to pies… and of course coffee, tea, juice, or saft (something a little like kool-aid, but natural & with no sugar).
like i said, snacks in sweden are yummy.