Sunday, August 12, 2007

Crawfish Party!


Yesterday we had a traditional Swedish Crawfish party. I've told you about crawfish before - it's a very special thing in Sweden, and it's very seasonal. August is the time for crawfish parties - you can buy frozen crawfish all year, but that doesn't mean that you should - it's much more special to have it once a year. The traditional parties involve lots of booze, crawfish, bread, cheese and great friends - and that's exactly what we had.

Sweden import most of its crawfish from China, Spain or Turkey, where it's prepared especially for the Swedish market, with Swedish recipes. I made my own brine for the crawfish, since the one they come in is usually a bit boring and sometimes outright disgusting. It's simple - you just mix 2,5 litres of water, 100 ml of beer, 3-4 tbsp salt, 1/2 tbsp sugar and one onion. Bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes, covered. Then pour over a bunch of flowering dill and let it cool. Pour over one kilo of crawfish, and let it sit for 3-4 hours before serving.


Lena brought two lovely Västerbotten Cheese pies. (Recipe for my version of this, here.) In addition to this, I had made some nice dill bread (will tell you all about that another day) and two desserts; a special one for the Daring Bakers, and a frozen raspberry semifreddo that vanished in an instant!


And Martin brought amazing flavored vodka! The yellow one has oranges and grapefruit, the red one raspberries and strawberries. Very yum!

Danne, demonstrating the sucking

Everyone has their own rituals for eating, but most goes something like this - break off the claws. Suck the legs of the crawfish, break open the claws and eat the meat. Remove the tail - some will now also suck the head and the body of the crawfish, but many skip that part. Clean the tail, removing the intestine and the shell, and devour. Yes, it's a lot of work for very little food, but it's fun!


You also have to wear funny hats, and have - preferrably - serpentines and other fun party toys. Regardless of how old you are.

Recipe in Swedish:


Dagmar said...

Great post and photos. It looks like you had a great time :-)

Wendy said...

Just back from Sweden and a crayfish party! Posted about it earlier last week. What an experience! Loved it. :)
Lovely photos.

Amelia Ames said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amelia Ames said...

I grew up in Louisiana eating crawfish at what we call a "crawfish boil." I never knew that Sweden had the same type of tradition. We boil ours live with lemons, onions, tons of red pepper, cajun spices, and small potatoes. You can always tell those who are used to eating them because they can peel and eat at a pretty good pace. Whenever my husband and I go to a boil, I have to peel all of his for him so he can eat them while they're still hot. Have you ever tried them the way Cajuns do them? If you want to, I recommend Zatarain's Crab boil.

Anonymous said...

Just like to add that we do have our own crawfish in Sweden and especially on the west coast. They taste much better compare than the chines ones and the are fresh! On the west coast almost no one eats the chines and turkeys crawfish.

Lena said...

Thank's for a nice party I had lots of fun, and I look forward to the recipe for the Daring Bakers dessert it was wonderful :)

Anonymous said...

This is really a lovely blog, showcasing lovely recipes. Thanks for sharing! Your crayfish party looks like lots of fun (love the hats---any party with hats is a hit with me!)

Lindsay Blau Portnoy said...

What a great looking party!

I can't wait for the recipe of the dill bread, and wish I could have just a little taste of that raspberry vodka. My Russian hubby would be so very excited if I could make that.

Hooray for seasonal eating with family and friends!

Anne said...

Amy - Oh, I've heard about that, but no, never tried it. I bet it's fun, but the idea of eating warm crawfish is just very, very exotic to me :)

Matfredochstil - great addition! :) I've had "home-fished" crawfish as well, but honestly, I'm not overly impressed. At least I don't find it worth the very hefty pricetag, if you can't fish your own.

Anonymous said...

I just have to reply to that. If you get raw crawfish from the sea (is that called something else crayfish) and fix it at home. They are delicious, you can´t compare it to chines. But you have to buy them on the west coast, they are fresher there! I really like your blog, it is a big inspiration to me!

Anne said...

Matfredochstil - you're absolutely right, fish and seafood are so much better on the west coast! *sigh*

And I'm so glad you like it here :)

Anonymous said...

Mmm, de där vodkorna (kan man säga det?) ser riktigt goda ut... Tycker att dom svenska kräftorna e minst lika bra, i alla fall om man har fiskat dem själva :P

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a nice evening with great food!

Anne said...

Fakespear - thank you!! The booze was amazing - although not as "healing" as the name would imply.

Elise said...

Oh, that looks like so much fun! The last time I attended a crawfish party was in college. My roommate, a New Orleans native, arranged a classic N'awlins crawfish boil. Very messy, but oh so tasty. Thanks for the memories.

Jeanne said...

Oh Anne, what fun! I have noticed that all the Belgian restaurants around here are having a lobster fest so clearly it's the season for crustacea! In South Africa we don't realyl have this sort of tradition (although I wish we should start!) but I know my sister has friends in Cape Town who go crayfishing (I guess you'd call them Cape Rock Lobsters) and at the end of the season they have a big party to eat all the crayfish they have caught towards the end of the season. It was one of the first events Nick and I went to as a couple and I have only great memories of it. Thanks for reminding me!

karlsfoodie said...

We just had this last week.. got them from Ikea... I love crawfish party