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information about kraftskiva, Swedish crayfish-party

A kräftskiva (kraftskiva), or crayfish party is an traditional Swedish festivity. It usually occurs during the late summer in August, during the crayfishing season. The original reason to hold the celebrations in August, is because of the large fishing of crayfish in the late 1900th century. This resulted in a stop for consuming crayfish for the whole year until the crayfish-premiere at the 8th of August. This restriction was lifted in 1994, but the tradition remained and many Swedes still celebrate their kraftskiva around August 8th.

In addition to the crayfish many different dishes are served at the 'crayfish-table'. Much like midsummer, homemade bread, butter and cheese is served. Common is also different pies like cheese-pie, preferably with vasterbotten-cheese. Other dishes served is for instance various pasta-salads, potato-salad, green salad and cold sauces like aioli or Thousand Island Dressing. For dessert, strawberries with whipped cream and / or vanilla ice-cream is common.

To drink at the kraftskiva, beer is most common. You will also find the 'nubbe', which is schnapps. Preferred kinds are nubbe flavoured with elder, Aquavit and for instance Absolut Vodka. Before each nubbe, everyone attending is supposed to sing a 'nubbevisa' which means schnapps-song.

If you'd like to try a Swedish kräftskiva or crayfish-party at home, here are some recipes to try. Like midsummer the kräftskiva is held outdoors at a long table or 'langbord' to fit in everyone attending at the same table.

Crayfish in dill-marinade
Vasterbottenpaj, vasterbotten cheese-pie
Aioli, add garlic to the mayonnaise
Swedish Potato-salad

Serve with homemade bread, butter, different cheeses, green salad and of course the crayfish.