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Partying with crayfish in Sweden | © Carolina Romare/Image Bank  Sweden
Partying with crayfish in Sweden | © Carolina Romare/Image Bank Sweden
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Partying With Crayfish in Sweden

Picture of Judi Lembke
Updated: 9 August 2017

When August rolls around, Swedes start returning from their summer country cottages (stugas) or holidays abroad. While they might be heading back to work, they’re still looking for ways to party and have fun before the dark months creep in. That means it’s time for crayfish parties. Here’s how to properly host or attend a traditional crayfish party, along with some history.

Once eaten almost exclusively by the aristocracy and upper classes, crayfish has been enjoyed in Sweden since the 1500s. The so-called ‘common people’ were suspicious of shellfish back in the day, and crayfish meat was generally only used for sausages, patties or other dishes where they were part of a mix. It wasn’t until the 1800s that the middle classes began slurping crayfish as they do today, and by the 1900s crayfish was a national delicacy enjoyed by all of society, with parties and celebrations every August.

Swedish crayfish are highly prized | © Anders Ekholm/Folio/imagebank.sweden.se