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Scandi Travels: Summer Destinations In Sweden

Swedish Traditions: Crayfish Party


2 minute read

swedish traditions crayfish party

Originating in Sweden, the annual summertime crayfish party (kräftskiva) is a tradition that has spread to other Nordic countries as well.  Crayfish parties are traditionally held in August, during the time of the crayfish harvest, although anytime in late summer is acceptable in modern times.

How to hold a crayfish party:  start by laying the table for the simple, but messy, Swedish feast.   We think a roll of kraft paper would be a simple and effective tablecloth, combined with SCANDIMINIMAL NAPKINS….

Fine Little Day Paper Napkins Tall

Fine Little Day Paper Napkins Tall

£6.00

Tall means pinetree in Swedish, and this gorgeous pack of tree print napkins from Fine Little Day with their famous Tall print, are suitable for both everyday use and special occasions.  The Scandinavian nature is as a major inspiration for the… read more

Man in the moon themes are often featured, with paper lanterns, hats, tablecloths and bibs.  Silly hats are optional but a fun tradition- this started when middle classes started having their own crayfish parties to mock the aristocracy’s posh traditions.  (Originally, only nobility ate crayfish, but this changed in the 1800s).

swedish traditions crayfish party

What to serve?  Start with Akvavit snaps (lots of it!) and beer for drinking….these are served alongside a healthy dose of traditional drinking songs (snapsvisa), so be prepared for a big night out! 

Crayfish are boiled in salted and sweetened water and seasoned with lots of fresh dill.  (If you can get it, use the “crown dill,” the flowering part of the plant.) Plan on ½ kg of crayfish per person.Crayfish are served cold, eaten with fingers, alongside lots of side dishes.Västerbottensost (Swedish cheese), knäckebröd(crispbreads), andVästerbottensostpaj(a cheese quiche) are all common side dishes, along with crayfish sauce and aioli. Lemon-water bowls, for cleaning fingers, are a nice touch as well.

A fun tradition to start with your family and friends, a Swedish crayfish partyis a great theme for your next outdoor summer gathering.

Last but not least, here is a recipe forVästerbottensostpaj.

This Swedish cheese quiche can be eaten any day of the year and is also typically served with creme fraiche, finely diced red onion and red fish roe on top.

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