August 8th, 2006

Swedish crayfish tradition

Posted by Lifecruiser in Food, Swedish

The crayfish season begins now in august and is a big tradition over here.

The tradition started already in the Medevial days, when the monks fasted, they consumed large amounts of crayfish. Because the crayfish were counted as fish, the monks could eat crayfish without feeling guilt when they were not allowed to eat meat. After a while even the Royal courts and nobility realized that the crayfishes were delicious. The fashion to eat the red claw-provided animals spread even to Sweden.

From the beginning they ate the crayfishes warm or used in different stews, it wasn’t until the end of 19th century (1800-talet in Swedish) they begin to let the crayfishes cool off and decorated them with twigs of crowned dill. The meat is found in the claws and in the tail of the animal.

During 1930 the word crayfish party showed up in the press for the first time. The word originates from the middle-class crayfish supper they had on porches and in blooming bowers to bid farewell to the summer. When the time passed it became more and more popular to arrange crayfish party’s.

To not exterminate the Swedish river crayfish, they decided that there will be a première date, which is the 8th of august. But they took it away in 1993 and now we can have a crayfish party when ever we want to (wohoooo :-), though many people still wait until today.

The access of Swedish crayfishes is limited, so they are very expensive, which is the reason for why we import crayfishes - still cooked according to Swedish recipes - from other countries as Turkey, China and USA.

There is still held these very special party’s, with special decorations, where people wear funny hats and seems to have eating habits as savages *lol*.

I, myself, am no big crayfish fan, so maybe that’s why I can see it with a little bit different point of view… But I still like to go on a crayfish party - hey, it’s a party! *lol* We’ll see if it comes any invitations this year, my brother-in-law has been talking about it.

I often wondered how forreigners experience this behaviour if they get the chance to see it. People are eating them with their hands, loudly slurping and sucking out the fluid out of the cooked crayfishs, singing very loud snaps (very strong alcohol) songs.

Usually many people are having a very bad hang-over nauseous the day after….

NOTE: They often blame it on the mixture of the crayfish and the alcohol, but I do believe that it’s most of the time is the alcohol that does it. People tend to forget how many and how fast they’re drinking these snaps! *lol*

Cruise list: Recipes for salad, Sisiggy, Nan, Buttercup, and Chi.

5 Responses to ' Swedish crayfish tradition '

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  1. Chi said:

    What an interesting idea for a party…I don’t think I’ve ever ate a crayfish…what do they taste like? *s*

    Lifecruiser: Hm… Maybe you could spot a vague fish taste, but other from that just salty. Not much to eat on them, it’s the sucking people like to do I guess ;-)

    August 8th, 2006 at 4:22 pm

  2. buttercup said:

    Oh, you’re making me salivate for crayfish. We used to have crayfish parties every summer when we visited my grandparents in Malmo. They are the best! We also loved the drinking songs, even when we weren’t allowed to drink schnapps. How can you not love crayfish?? I love the Swedish shrimp too. In New York there’s one restaurant, Ulrika’s, that has awesome shrimp prepared the traditional, delicious Swedish way.

    Lifecruiser: Well, I guess it’s that fuss before you actually can eat anything from it, that I don’t like. Since I’m a hungry monster I like to almost shovel in the food ;-)

    August 8th, 2006 at 7:16 pm

  3. Nan said:

    Great blog and I’ll be back to read more.
    Thanks for stopping by mine and commenting.

    Lifecruiser: Thanks, as your’s are too. You’re welcome - I’ll return to yours too :-)

    August 8th, 2006 at 9:37 pm

  4. sisiggy said:

    Crayfish are the freshwater variety of crabs, aren’t they (no, not that kind of crab…)? In the southern USA they’re called crawdads, aren’t they? (Someone from the deep south USA would have to answer that one).
    Around here we get crabs (no, not that kind of crab…) from the Chesapeake Bay or Dirtman hangs off a dock dangling a raw chicken neck and catches them one at a time, which takes too long but is pretty funny to watch.

    Lifecruiser: I have absolutely no idea *lol*. Oh, that sight must be something - do you ever get tempted to push him overboard? Just in the mind I mean…. *lol*

    August 9th, 2006 at 3:33 am

  5. Recipes for salad said:

    I am not sure what crayfish is but it looks like this :

    I would love to taste it raw or cooked. Bet it tastes great.


    Lifecruiser:Oh, no nothing like that at all! This is very small crayfish comparing to that one.

    October 6th, 2006 at 12:02 am

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