A typical Swedish breakfast consists of a hard cheese, cold-cut, sausage or marmalade sandwich. The beverage is coffee, hot chocolate or tea and milk or juice. Some prefer porridge, others various breakfast cereals with yoghurt or filmjölk, processed sour milk. Many people also like a boiled egg and perhaps Kalles creamed cod roe. There are many different kinds of bread, from different rye breads and crispbreads to French rolls and toast. 
Lunch is customarily eaten between twelve and one o'clock. Most restaurants are open all afternoon, so a meal can always be had from 11 a.m. until 10-11 p.m. Lunch is a fairly simple meal, since most people only have a break of one hour from work.
Around three o'clock every afternoon, a coffee break is taken at all workplaces. Cafés and confectioner's shops are popular meeting places and nowadays there are many Italian places featuring espresso and other Italian coffees. If you visit a Swede at home, you will almost always be given coffee. Next to the Finns, the Swedes are the biggest consumers of coffee in the world.
   Viennese pastry, cinnamon buns or cookies may be served with the coffee. On birthdays and other family celebrations, a coffee party is given, with seven kinds of cookies and a cake. The most popular piece of pastry is the green marzipan cake called princesstårta. Concealed beneath the marzipan are sponge cake, jam, vanilla cream and whipped cream. 
In homes, dinner is eaten from 5 o'clock and onwards. Restaurants normally serve dinner from 6 o'clock.
   Another Swedish party tradition is the vickning, which is served very late at night. It often consists of Janssons frestelse, grilled sandwiches or other hot hors d'oeuvres. And of course beer and schnapps.

©oenoforos. Christine Samuelson.