Feasting on crayfish at a Swedish kräftskiva - a beloved tradition in Sweden - sounds straightforward, right? We mean, it's just eating or? Well, this particular tradition can be slippery as trying to catch a wet soap, with a side serving of hilarity and humility.
Well, If you're new to this delightful culinary experience or simply want to brush up on your skills, we will provide you with essential tips on how to literally “crack the crayfish” like a pro! Whether you're a beginner or already familiar with this tradition, these tips will help you make the most of your Swedish crayfish party celebration.
Before getting to the actual eating, let’s just start with some basics for those new to eating crayfish:
Crayfish are typically served cold and are accompanied by a variety of side dishes and condiments. The most common condiments include dill, bread, Västerbotten cheese, and snaps (a traditional Swedish schnapps).
Another hint is to make use of some handy tools to help you! A typical crayfish party set includes a small fork, a crayfish knife that looks like miniature Excaliburs, and crayfish bibs - which can be as wide as a superhero’s cape. The bibs are not only functional but also add a fun and festive touch to the celebration, don’t hesitate to wear them!
Now, on to the step-by-step!
1. Suck and slurp
2. Break off the claws
Now onto the claws. First, break off the "legs" from the crayfish's body. Then, break off the claw from each leg.
3. Crack the claw
Crack the claw. If the shell is soft, you can use your teeth; otherwise, use a nutcracker or pliers. Remove the meat from the claws, put it in your mouth, and enjoy. A crayfish knife or the pointed part of the claw can be helpful.
4. Dare the butter
After the claws, it's time for the crayfish butter - something that many people skip. Don't do that, it's one of the most delicious parts of the whole crayfish. Grab the sides of the abdomen and pull off the head.
5. Scrape out the butter
Loosen the shield located just behind the crayfish's eyes and carefully remove the yellow crayfish butter.
6. Last but not least - detach the tail
To finish off, you tackle the largest piece of the crayfish - the tail. Crack open the shell on the tail by breaking off the shell flaps that run along the sides of the tail. Carefully loosen the shell so that the tail remains intact.
7. Remove the string
Then, pull off the small string that is located on the upper side. Underneath it, you will find the intestine, which you also remove but refrain from eating.
8. He who saves, enjoys later
Either you immediately devour the tail or you continue working your way through and save the crayfish tails until you have enough to place, for example, on a piece of toasted bread with a dollop of mayonnaise.