Bigger than prawns, meatier than langoustines, these freshwater crustaceans are sometimes known as Swedish lobster.
Since this episode was released in August, starting the series with this traditional summertime celebration - kräftskiva (crayfish party) feels right.
Unfortunately for me, I can't have too many kräftor (plural for crayfish). I remember my first crayfish party. It was a friend's place and I was very cautious making sure that I did not overdo it although I had my meds with me. Her living room was decorated simply with paper lanterns, and the table was dressed in paper plates with a big crayfish cartoon in the middle. There were snapps, juice and other beverages for the guests. I was more of an observer than a participant. The room, perhaps in all the living rooms in Stockholm, was filled with laughter. Technically, this party should be held outdoors but my friend lived in a very nice place near the city centre so indoors was sufficient.
This tradition has been around since the 1500s. Like most origins of the delicacies in Sweden, only the aristocracy enjoyed crayfish. It was not until the mid-1800s that people began to enjoy crayfish as they are today. In the 1900s, crayfish became a national delicacy and more people began to consume them. It was also during this time that Sweden introduced restrictions on river cray fishing to prevent overfishing, the season was then limited to a few months starting in August.
We can enjoy crayfish all year round now thanks to the imported crayfish from China, Turkey and the US but the majority of Swedes still prefer home-caught crayfish. They are the best! In Singapore, you can only find them at IKEA in August.
So how should you prepare for your crayfish party? Here is one of my favourite and celebrated Chef, Tina Nordström, showing you how:
This tradition is more than just about enjoying the red Swedish lobster, putting on silly hats and singing silly songs. It is a time to get together with friends and loved ones. I think Singapore ought to come up with creative ideas that will bring people together and make it an official public holiday! After all, one of the many hobbies Singaporeans enjoy is EATING!