Ok, so I like food. I like it a lot. (This is why I should think about learning to cook at some point.) There’s so much to talk about when it comes to this delicious subject – especially for me because I can introduce people to different meals. Though I might not have the best foods to talk about in most peoples’ opinion (like blood pudding, for example) I can certainly get away with talking about how meals and snacks work where I am.

I learned, the hard way, how much to eat and at which meal here in Sweden; trust me, it’s a routine that can take time to get used to. We begin our morning just like home, with cereal or something else edible for breakfast. What was different was that lunch is our biggest meal, which it is in other European countries, as well. This would be why our cafeteria is so nice and the food tastes home-cooked – because this culture expects a large, filling meal that will last them until six or seven in the evening. As different as this was, it really did not take me long to get used to. (You try the food in my cafeteria and tell me if you think it is difficult to get used to a home-cooked meal at school.) What is a little more difficult is lunch at someone else’s house.

We’re all sitting around the table, all of us famished in preparation for the meal we know is to come. It comes. The meal can be a few courses, depending upon how well you know the host/hostess. I’ve figured out that, if the host / hostess is a good friend, they might not go all out like they would for people that are not guests to them very often. So, even though the hostess might know my grandparents well, it’s me they aren’t too familiar with and the food is supposed to impress me. So far, all the food has passed.

My first meal I remember eating until I was satisfied. OK, a little more than satisfied, until I thought I would burst. If you had been there to taste it you would have understood why I took fourths. My mormor warned me when no one else was listening “Don’t get too full we are going to have coffee after,” and I thought, so? I don’t drink coffee. This is when I learned that coffee is never, never just coffee. After the meal the guests sat around the table laughing, talking and trying not to make any sudden movements or else they’ll burst the button off their pants. At this point I was full and had forgotten one word: fika.

Yes, fika (fee-kah). In Sweden, the people have this wonderful time in between meals that they get out small cinnamon buns, cookies, coffee and juice so that they can make it through the rest of the day to the next meal. I find it both useful and something I will not be able to live without when I find myself back in Maine.

This means that, after the meal that I had just stuffed myself with, the hostess brings out a cake, cookies, coffee, coffeecakes and juice for the ones that don’t drink the strong coffee known to some as “short ‘n’ darks.” This is what the coffee is like: The people drink it in small cups that we could think were for tea and most drink it without milk or sugar. This little snack, or “fika” was not something I had room for at that moment. The worst part is that the host/ hostess will notice that you don’t take very much and question if everything tastes all right.

I usually feel terrible when this happens and try to tell them it definitely tastes like it is sent from heaven, it’s just that I ate too much. Then I always get the Swedish version of “well, we gotta get some meat on those bones” as I reach for a slice of the cake adorned with blueberries and raspberries. It feels like the food never stops coming! I thought this was something that just older people considered necessary, but I have learned people my age know the importance of fika. What else are the cafés for?

I have learnedI have to eat slowly, in moderation, and always be prepared for the lurking cake, quietly calling from the kitchen from behind the hostess’ smiling face. The food is good! So, when you see the picture of me above this article, memorize it because, at the rate I’m going over here, I might look a little different on my return!

Tills nsta vecka!



Email: [email protected]

Address : Angelika Guy, Huginvgen 12, SE- 715 31 Odenback

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.