Rooted in traditions going back several hundred years, the crayfish party has a natural place in Swedish food and festival traditions. The oldest documented information on crayfish in Sweden dates from the 1500s, when Erik XIV described his appreciation for the dish.
Right up until the 1800s, crayfish was considered to be a delicacy reserved for the upper classes, but by the end of the century the crayfish party had become a concept that had spread across several social classes. Even at this time, there were shrewd people who saw their opportunity to profit from festive occasions. Many tradesmen created new sources of income from products such as hats, bibs and other items that could be linked to crayfish, which they could sell to the party-loving Swedes. The word “skiva” in the Swedish term for a crayfish party – “kräftskiva” – actually comes from the table on which the party food, drink and decorations are set out.
So what do you need for a really successful crayfish party? Well, in addition to practical details such as lemon water for rinsing hands, mosquito repellent, suitable rubbish bags and potentially even funny hats, there are several ways to inject the party spirit. A good icebreaker provides the perfect start and sets the tone for the evening. Why not start your party with some social games? Perhaps a few rounds of traditional swedish “crab football”, in which players move around on all fours, facing upwards. With the right atmosphere, these activities should dispel any inhibitions.
Astonish with the decorations
As you know, there is a well-established format for laying the table at a crayfish party, with classic crayfish motifs on everything from coloured paper plates and bibs to napkins and other table decorations. However, if you want to astonish your guests with a little innovation, this is also an option, as shown in the pictures. Why not dare to think outside the box for this summer’s crayfish party?
Good accompaniments for crayfish
When it comes to food and drink, the variations are infinite, and you may even have your own favourites already. Here are some recipes which will be a tasty and ideal supplement to the crayfish on the table.