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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Scandinavian Cooking / Coffee in Scandinavia
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    Coffee in Scandinavia

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    stormylee
    Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:11 am
    Forum Host


    According to the International Coffee Organization (ICO), about 1.4 billion cups of coffee a day are poured and enjoyed worldwide. The small Nordic nations contribute more than their fair share to these cups: Scandinavians top the world charts of coffee consumption. The Finns consume an amazing 12 kilograms (over 26 lb.!) of coffee per person per year, but the Norwegians and the Icelanders are not far behind, with 9,9 kg and 9,0 kg of coffee per person year each. The Danes drink their share of coffee as well – 8,7 kilograms – and while the Swedes lost the #5 spot to the Dutch (8.4 kg) in the latest available statistics from 2008, they still averaged an admirable 8,2 kg. (So, to all of you who read Stieg Larsson’s books and wondered if it really is possible for someone to consume that much coffee that often – yes. icon_wink.gif)

    Coffee came to Scandinavia at the very end of the 17th century, and was first taken up by the upper and middle class urban Scandinavians who wanted to keep up with European trends. During the 19th century, coffee-drinking gradually started to spread to lower social classes and to more rural regions. At first, the expensive beverage was only served on holidays and special occasions, but by the turn of the 20th century people started to drink it on weekdays as well.

    Nowadays coffee is the national beverage of all Nordic countries and it is served at every opportunity. If you visit someone’s home, you will be served coffee; if you visit someone’s office in business matters, you will be served coffee. Coffee is served at weddings, funerals and christenings. It is served with dessert after dinner and first thing in the morning; coffee breaks punctuate the work day and people meet up for coffee after work. Coffee is the beverage that accompanies a conversation and lubricates social situations.

    While most of the coffee consumed is still good-ole filter coffee, specialty coffees have become popular too; today’s university student will likely have filter coffee in the morning, another cup of it after lunch (in a take-away cup, to sip on while attending a lecture), but opt for a latte or a cappuccino when meeting with friends at the coffee shop in the evening. The favourite coffee of the Scandinavians continues to be light roasted type, but dark roasted coffee is gradually growing in popularity. Instant coffee is not widely consumed – it is considered a sad, desperate substitute for the real thing – nor is decaffeinated coffee popular. Travellers beware: if you ask for decaf, Scandinavians will think you’re a wimp. icon_wink.gif


    Last edited by stormylee on Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:38 am, edited 1 time in total
    stormylee
    Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:13 am
    Forum Host


    Many travelers who have been fortunate enough to spend some time in Scandinavia have probably realized that it is entirely possible, and very comfortably so, to whizz through every meeting or transaction using only English. However, after visiting Sweden, there is likely one word that will stick in the brain, and that word is 'fika.' Say it with me: Fee-ka. It sounds soft and sweet, kind of like a marshmallow, doesn't it? It is. While there is no direct English translation of the word that truly captures its spirit, 'coffee break' at least provides a small insight into the world of 'fika,' which, by the way, is both a noun and a verb. To 'fika' generally means to sit with a steaming cup of coffee and a sweet of some sort, enjoying them in the company of others, either at home or in one of Sweden's seemingly numerous cafes. While any chance to indulge in a pastry is of course delightful in and of itself, spending time with friends or family is a major component of the fika experience. Segments of days at the workplace are also divided up by fikas. While providing some perhaps much-needed refreshment, they also give coworkers a chance to connect.

    If you get the chance to visit Sweden, please take the opportunity to take part in this national pastime. Go to a coffee shop, order your favorite caffeinated drink, and select something sinful to go with it. Try a 'kanelbulle,' or cinnamon roll. Cardamom lovers will be pleasantly surprised. Kick your feet up for awhile, and enjoy some conversation. If you are alone, you will be treated to a most fascinating people-watching opportunity. Regardless of what you order, you will likely always remember those delicious minutes provided by your fika.
    stormylee
    Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:52 am
    Forum Host



    Pastries have always been an essential part of Nordic coffee culture: what’s a cup of coffee without a little something sweet? Try some of these Scandinavian classics:

    ... cakes and pies...

    Lingonberry Crumb Pie
    Mondlukaka – Icelandic Almond Cake Dessert
    Swedish Apple Pie
    Gourmet Danish Bitty Almond Cakes

    ... cookies...

    Oatmeal-Lace Cookies (Havrekniplekaker)
    Fatigmann (Norwegian Cookies)
    No-Bake Chocolate Cookies (Chokladbollar)

    ... sweet wheat bread...

    Kringle
    Boston Coffee Cake
    Finnish Cinnamon Rolls (Korvapuustit)

    ... something deliciously deep-fried for May...

    Tippaleiv�t - May Day Fritters

    ... and the unique experience that is leipäjuusto, squeaky cheese - not only for dunking in your coffee, it's good in salads too!

    Juusota - Finnish " Squeaky" Cheese


    For more Nordic sweet treats, click here! yummy.gif


    Last edited by stormylee on Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total
    stormylee
    Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:56 am
    Forum Host



    The history of coffee is intertwined with the history of alcohol in Scandinavia. In the early 20th century, when alcohol became more difficult to come by (either due to prohibition or simply because it got too expensive), people turned to coffee: a cup of coffee was felt to have the same warming, invigorating effect as a shot of vodka. However, when alcohol policies relaxed, coffee maintained its popularity, and women, in particular, continued to prefer their cup to the shot! Scandinavians have, of course, also found many ways to combine the two vices. One pan-Nordic phenomenon is called kaffe med dopp (in the Swedish-speaking islands of Finland), prestakaffi ("priest's coffee", in Iceland) or karsk (in Norway), the simple recipe for which is this:

    - Place a fairly large coin at the bottom of a glass.
    - Pour coffee into the glass until you can no longer see the coin.
    - Pour moonshine (or other clear spirits) until the coin appears again.

    Ta-da! icon_smile.gif
    Mia in Germany
    Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:37 am
    Forum Host
    wave.gif
    Must have some nordic genes in me icon_lol.gif I think this is where I will have to spend some time next month icon_biggrin.gif
    stormylee
    Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:54 am
    Forum Host
    Mia in Germany wrote:
    wave.gif
    Must have some nordic genes in me icon_lol.gif I think this is where I will have to spend some time next month icon_biggrin.gif


    wave.gif Hi Mia! Make yourself at home - can I get you a cup of coffee? icon_lol.gif
    Mia in Germany
    Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:33 am
    Forum Host
    Yes, please icon_lol.gif
    You said that young people meanwhile get latte and cappuccino, too, when they have coffee to go, but are other coffee beverages popular, too? You know, like at Starbucks, flavoured coffee and such?
    stormylee
    Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:57 am
    Forum Host
    Since Starbuck-like coffee houses abound in the Nordic countries these days, I dare say they are up and coming too. icon_smile.gif (Too sweet for me though! I prefer to enjoy the sugar in the form of a pastry, myself!! icon_wink.gif )
    Mia in Germany
    Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:29 pm
    Forum Host
    Me, too. I make those coffees myself with very low sweetener, if any.
    Have to check the nordic pastry recipes and see what I can make out of them without gluten icon_lol.gif
    Lilla
    Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:23 am
    Forum Host
    Lovely post, Stormy!! icon_biggrin.gif I do love me a good fika.

    Mia: chokladbollar can be easily made gluten free, if your diet includes oats. icon_smile.gif
    Mia in Germany
    Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:31 am
    Forum Host
    Lilla wrote:
    Lovely post, Stormy!! icon_biggrin.gif I do love me a good fika.

    Mia: chokladbollar can be easily made gluten free, if your diet includes oats. icon_smile.gif


    Good morning wave.gif
    Yes, my diet includes gf oats, and I've made those chokladbollar - I totally love them icon_biggrin.gif
    stormylee
    Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:26 am
    Forum Host
    Mia in Germany wrote:
    Lilla wrote:
    Lovely post, Stormy!! icon_biggrin.gif I do love me a good fika.

    Mia: chokladbollar can be easily made gluten free, if your diet includes oats. icon_smile.gif


    Good morning wave.gif
    Yes, my diet includes gf oats, and I've made those chokladbollar - I totally love them icon_biggrin.gif


    If oats are not a problem, oatmeal lace cookies are easy to make gluten free too - you can use potato starch or corn flour (or gluten-free baking flour mix) instead of all-purpose flour, a little less than the recipe calls for.

    I've been seriously craving chokladbollar ever since I posted the recipe link. icon_lol.gif
    stormylee
    Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:32 am
    Forum Host
    Lilla wrote:
    Lovely post, Stormy!! icon_biggrin.gif I do love me a good fika.


    Thank you for writing the fika post! wave.gif The linguist in me was thisclose to writing a whole piece on coffee-related vocabulary in the Nordic countries but it might have been a bit much! icon_lol.gif I think "fika" is a wonderful example of the importance we give to enjoying coffee, and it's such a pretty word too. icon_biggrin.gif
    Mia in Germany
    Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:54 am
    Forum Host
    stormylee wrote:


    If oats are not a problem, oatmeal lace cookies are easy to make gluten free too - you can use potato starch or corn flour (or gluten-free baking flour mix) instead of all-purpose flour, a little less than the recipe calls for.

    I've been seriously craving chokladbollar ever since I posted the recipe link. icon_lol.gif


    rotfl.gif
    They're easy to crave icon_lol.gif First time I had them when I visited a certain Swedish furniture store that sells them in the basement - DH and I ate the whole box during the drive home (50 minutes) icon_eek.gif icon_lol.gif

    I like the idea of the lace cookies because I love oatmeal cookies anyway. Also I was eyeing Norwegian Drop Cookies
    I've made similar cookies gluten free and it worked wonderfully. So, three projects for the next weeks - of course I have to make the chokladbollar now, too icon_rolleyes.gif
    Mia in Germany
    Tue May 01, 2012 3:09 am
    Forum Host
    To start with, I made Norwegian Drop Cookies #172374 by Charlotte J.
    They are very tasy, just how I like them yummy.gif
    I realised that nutmeg is extremely popular in the US - way too much for my taste. Do Scandinavian recipes also use so much of it that you can taste it? Which spices are the most popular ones in baked goods? I saw a lot of cardamom recipes.
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