Happy Monday friends! Today’s post comes from one of my favorite parts of Sweden, Skåne. Last week I shared with you the splendors of Northern Sweden. This past weekend we headed to Skåne, a region in the most southern part of Sweden, a short drive from Denmark. It’s a three hour drive from where we live in Gothenburg. Our good friends live there and this weekend invited us to a traditional Swedish crayfish party-kräftskiva in Swedish.
Although crayfish have been eaten since the 16th century in Sweden, then a delicacy savored by aristocrats, the crayfish celebration came later. The history of crayfish parties in Sweden date back to the mid nineteenth century. Originally, parties were planned around the time of year fishermen were legally allowed to harvest crayfish from the sea, which was often the first week in August. They were considered the last party of the summer.
No kräftskiva party is complete without party hats, decorations, and bibs. The hats are usually adorned with pictures of the guest of honor, the crayfish. At the center of the brightly hung streamers and paper lanterns usually hangs a large and happy paper lantern of the Man in the Moon.
Crayfish is the highlight here-served cold with a delicious hint of dill. The little crustaceans can be eaten alone, with a little aoli, or on fresh baked bread with aoli. It is considered completely polite and actually a treat to suck the juice from the shell. In addition, salad, delicious cheeses, and quiche of different varieties are served.
Traditional drink for a kräftskiva party is Schnaps of multi flavors, beer, and/or wine. While I am not usually a fan of taking shots, I was all in for this party. I tasted two different flavors-elderberry and cinnamon. I loved the elderberry and according to our host, you have to let the Schnaps roll around in your mouth a bit to truly enjoy the flavor.
Swedes are known for their love of song, which usually preclude the drinking of Schnapps (snapsvisor). There is a song for every occasion and a crayfish party is no exception. While our party was a little reluctant, once the Schnapps started flowing and inhibitions dampened, we managed one song to the melody of Popeye the Sailor Man.
A great time was had by all. Already looking forward to next year’s party. Thanks to our friends Per and Malin for the invite!! Thanks for taking the time to read! Have a great week 😊