The Crayfish party – a perfect occasion to sing a silly song!

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Swedes have had crayfish parties since the 16th century. It was adopted by the nobility from the monks during the 19th century. The monks had crayfish since the Middle Ages as crayfish was allowed to eat during the religious periods of fasting.

Kärt barn har många namn, a Swedish saying that translates a beloved child has many different names – the Swedish kräfta has two translations in English, crawfish and crayfish. Crawfish was used by the first American zoologist that studied the freshwater scavengers. The word crayfish was later introduced by an English zoologist.
The crayfish is popular in the south of the USA, in the Creole kitchen where they boil the mudbugs or crawdads, that they are also called in spices and serve them warm.  

The Swedish Crayfish party - Kräftskiva

The fashion of eating crayfish under the August moon is today a must for all Swedes.

The crayfish party is, if possible held outdoors, the table is set with a disposable cloth, disposable tableware and plenty of colorful napkins, as eating crayfish the Swedish way is a messy business.  
Each guest will be offered a fancy party hat to wear during the dinner. The crayfish party is one of the best occasions to show off your talent to sing Swedish snaps songs. Snaps songs are required before each sip of the snaps, and during a crayfish party there will be many snaps washed down with beer.  

The crayfish are boiled in salted water with a lot of dill and served cold with Västerbotten cheese, mayonnaise and walnut bread. For the foodie only Swedish Signalkräftor will do. If Signalkräftor cannot be obtained, Chinese or Turkish crayfish will do, but that would be the last resort.
There should be an abundance of crayfish served on large plates, decorated with aromatic crown dill. The motto is, eat as many as you can!

Lots of lanterns light up the dark, warm August nights, snaps songs and laughter can be heard from every house in the neighborhood, the Swedes are saying farewell to the summer and prepare for the fall.

Crayfish party in Florida

In August the nights are warm and dark in Florida, perfect for a crayfish party.
If you want to experience a genuine Swedish crayfish party, do attend one of the many parties arranged by Swedish clubs all over Florida.

You might also want to arrange your own crayfish party. It is actually easier to get hold of the stuff you need than you might think. A Swede named Sven Håkansson is catching Signalkräftor in the rivers of Oregon. He boils them in salted water and crown dill the traditional way and ships his delicacies all over the USA.
 The Swedish newspapers take the Crayfish craze in Sweden seriously, every August the newspapers arrange panels of testers that will crown the best crayfish brand of the year.

Here in the USA, we can be proud to know that our own Sven Håkansson actually won this test one year with the national newspaper Expressen. You cannot get much better than that! Read more about Sven Hakansson and his crayfish on his web site
You can also find a nice selection of snaps songs on his web site.

Sven’s crayfish can also be ordered together with other party necessities such as Västerbottenost, knäckebrod, napkins and other cool crayfish party stuff from the California based Talk to Pia and she will tell you what you need for the party. Also ask her about their homemade liverpate, served with Cumberland sauce it is delicious.  

Another supplier of Scandinavian must haves is they also ship Sven’s famous crayfish to us in Florida, would you ever visit Connecticut they also have a store where you can cruise around and smell and feel the Scandinavian cuisine. Do also try their Salmon Roe, it is so good.


In time for the crayfish party season of 2009 we have a contest for the best Florida-inspired Snaps Song. This year we want you to send in new lyrics for the classical Helan Går melody with a Florida touch. We want the song to contain one or all of the following words; Florida, dolphin, flamingo and beach.
The winner will get the song published on EuroFloridian and will also win 2 kilos of crayfish, delivered directly from Sven Håkansson.

We need the songs to be sent to us not later than August 15. The name of the winner and the winning song will be published on August 20.

More info about the contest will be published soon!

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