Crayfish Party !
Let's have a globaly famous Swedish crayfish party.


Overview
'Crayfish Party' reminds us Sweden.
In Nordic summer, the twilight remains long because of its high latitudes.
Ambiguity between the day and the night continues and the beauty of the twilight is exceptional.
In the best season, people set a table refleshing outdoors, get together with friends, and enjoy the party around the plateful of crayfish.
Human and nature, light and darkness - what an exquisite balance !

The origine of Swedish crayfish party can be traced to the 16th century but current style of the party started in the 19th century. Crayfish party is "kraftskiva" in Swedish. It spreaded to Finland and in Finnish "rapujuhlat." This Nordic summer customs are spreading to the world.
The best season for the crayfish party is August and September after the removal of the restrictions on harvest on August 8th. Noble Crayfish is the tradition but import from Spain, Turky, or even from China or U.S.A. is increasing these days.
Noble Crayfish was wiped out in 1907 by the crayfish plague brought by Signal Crayfish from U.S.A. In 1960's Signal Crayfish was introduced again to make up for the decreased number. But Noble Crayfish is more tasty than Signal Crayfish. Then, reproduction of Noble crayfish is being promoted outside the Signal Crayfish habitat.


Traditional Swedish Crayfish Party
Table Setting and Decoration
@@Set a table outdoor. Outdoor is really refleshing !
A@Prepare a paper tablecloth, paper bibs, paper napkins, and paper plates. Gaily colored ones are popular.
B@Hang paper lanterns aroud the table.

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In addition, hang the Man in the Moon lantern.
C Wear a comic party hat on the head.
A cone hat with a crayfish picture is popular. Don't forget wearing a bib to protect from the crayfish juice spray.
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Crayfish Party !
August or September is the season.
Getting dark, the crayfish party starts.




Menu
Typical dish, at first, is crayfish !
Swedes eat crayfish cold.
Bread and strong cheese such as matured Vasterbotten are eaten on the side.
As for alcohol, Schnapps is a shot of strong unsweetened spirit.
Schnapps is good if very cold.
Don't ignore the traditional rule "one shot for one claw." But don't drink too much.

And akvavit & beer.




Crayfish Recipe
@      Mud in the crayfish organ should be discharged. Keep the crayfish in a clean freshwater tank without feeding for a coule of days. Be aware that keeping the crayfish in the tank too long will lose the flesh and disgrade the taste. Thoroughly rinse the crayfish in cold running water before the boil.

A      Bring a large pot of water to the boil and boil the water with salt and dill for 2 to 3 minutes. Swedes use sufficient amount of crown dill that has been harvested after blossoming.

Dill is probably the most loved and used harb in the Nordic countries. It is an important ingredient in a multitude of Scandinavian recipes for fish.


Use about 1litre of water for every 8 crayfish, and about 35 to 40 grams of salt for every 1 litre of water.

B      Then, remove the crown dill and add crayfish. Boil for 6 to 7 minutes.

C      Cover the pot , add some fresh dill and place it for at least 6 to 12 hours in the refrigerator, sometimes more than 24hours, to allow the crayfish soak up all the flavours.


D      For serving, arrange the crayfish decoratively on a large serving platter middle on the table. Garnish with fresh crown dill. Eating cold crayfish is the Swedish manner.

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Example of Serving
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Swedish Behavior

Again, eat crayfish cold.
And eat with your fingers.
Use crayfish knife if needed.
Eating crayfish with your hands, slurping and sucking noisily to extract juice are the perfet behavior.
Don't forget that it is Swedish !@

Be relaxed and be informal.
Some lively entertainment may be arranged, music, games, trivia, quizzes, and speech to praise the crayfish.
Toast with Schnapps and sing songs, what they call Schnapps-song or Aquvit-song.
The crayfish party continues to the early hours.@