Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Summer kräftskiva: Swedish Crayfish Party
Every August, Swedes at home and abroad celebrate with a traditional kräftskiva, or crayfish party. Originally, crayfish parties were held in August to celebrate the start of crayfish fishing season. Now, crayfish are available year-round, but the kräftskiva tradition endures--it's a wonderful excuse to eat, drink and be merry with friends and family.
Crayfish parties are held every summer in Sweden and Finland and by the large Swedish ex-pat population in many countries. Crayfish have been a popular food in Sweden since the time of King Erik XIV more than 500 years ago, but kräftskiva parties originated in the last century.
The crayfish (also called crawdads) are cooked in a large pot with lots of crown dill and served with paper napkins on a paper tablecloth--it's known to get a little messy! Snaps (shots) are usually taken and crisp bread and strong Västerbotten cheese are served with the crayfish. Songs, like 'Helan Går' are sung to accompany the snaps of akavit.
Crayfish parties are a lovely way to bring together friends and family during August's warm summer nights. Eat, drink and celebrate the noble crayfish.
All items featured here are now on sale. For special flair, consider our special kräftskiva towels made especially for crayfish parties by Ekelund Weavers in Sweden.