Last summer we turned our hand at hosting a Swedish Crayfish Party (Kräftskiva), a traditional party to celebrate the start of the crayfish season (find out more on the Swedish National Website). Hosting a kräftskiva was a bit of a challenge seeing as neither of us have ever been to one, or had even eaten Crayfish, but we thought we’d give it a go anyway… if it all went wrong we’d just drink plenty of Akvavit.
Scandi culture is becoming ubiquitous nowadays, so with a between Ikea, Scandinavian Kitchen (we love this place!) and The Stockholm Deli we could find nearly everything we needed: Crayfish, Akvavit, crispbreads, cheeses, garlands & lanterns. We decided against the funny hats, a decision we later regretted, as apparently this is all part of the tradition! The only thing we couldn’t find is Dill Crowns which seem to be a key part, a bit of a shame but we survived without.
We started with Gravdlax on rye bread, not sure how traditional this is but it’s my favourite so we went with it! We then downed our first shot of ice cold Akvavit before getting onto the main event; plenty of crayfish accompanied with several salads, cheese pies, crispbreads and some herby mayonnaise. Not being experience in eating crayfish, they took some getting used to, they are a bit fiddly but once you get in they are delicious. But be warned they do make quite a mess, some sort of bib is a must!
To follow we had a Blackberry and Almond cake, we found the recipe in Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break, with Recipes for Pastries, Breads, and Other Treats. A good book and a very simple and tasty cake! To finish off we found a selection of Swedish cheeses… and lastly for good measure we had some Daim bars!
We’d read that one of the keys to a successful kräftskiva are the drinking songs. After a bit of research we found a simple enough tune for us to learn, Helan går, Luckily we also found the Phonetic transliteration, so fortified with some more Akvavit with gave it our best shot… not sure how successful this was (and apologies to our neighbours!)
All in all it was a very fun evening, not entirely sure how authentic our Crayfish Party was, but we all had a great time!
Take a look at some more images from the party below.