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August partytime

crayfish fermented herring
In August you may hear about some very Swedish parties.
Crayfish Feast and Fermented Baltic Herring Party
Swedish Crayfish -- How you cook them
The most important when you cook crayfish is fresh ingredients and that you are exact not letting them boil too long time.
You use fresh water, salt, some sugar and lots of dill flowers and some beer.
The crayfish is boiled in the liquor and then they shall remain in the liquor while cooling down, for at least 12 hours.


In the nineteenth century the fishing of crayfish in Swedish rivers was restricted. Each fishing district settles the date when it is allowed to catch crayfish. That made a "First-Day-Feeling" of the date when crayfish selling was allowed. Now you really ought to have a feast!
Nowadays there are no selling restrictions any longer but the tradition with Crayfish Feast in the beginning of August is still alive. At no other place in our world a tradition like this is shaped. Other countries don't eat river crayfish but export them to Sweden! Nowaday mostly imported crayfish is sold and served at the restaurants in Sweden.


The increasing darkness and the mild evenings in August are inviting to make joyful feasts with coloured lanterns, funny hats and whoopee-making. ..
Lots of paraphernalia belonging to a real crayfish party. Table cloths, napkins and plates with crayfish motive, even bibs as you eat the crayfish sucking the claws. A very special sound accompanying such a party - - - - There are songs and there are beverages - .


Fermented Baltic Herring Party

Delicious fermented herring surströmming is the food of north Sweden people. Why - how - when - do you eat that? Rotten fish? With the fermented herring you eat onions, potatoes and thin crisp bread. To drink - anything from milk to schnapps.

There are restrictions - the preserves of the summer may not be sold until third Thursday of August. That's why most Fermented Baltic Herring parties are hold at the end of August.
Fermented Baltic Herring has a very special odour, many distaste it. But lots of people have learnt to estimate this Northern Swedish speciality.
You prefer eating out of doors because of the smell. You eat together, drink together and sing together. Perhaps in a summer house or at an old mountain pasture, the food exposed on an old robust wooden table with a white paper table cloth. Herring in their cans, steaming Norrland potatoes, thin unleavened bread, butter, chopped red onions, and the beverages ----

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Fermented Baltic Herring is preserved by a special fermenting procedure layered in barrels with a minimum of salt. When ready it is tinned in metal cans. Those we can buy in the food shops and they often are a bit spherical because of the gas made by the fermented contents.... To open such a can may be a kind of adventure - you can get some of the smelling liqour throwing out up in your face ---

First day of "surströmming" preserved in the year 2011 is August 18

in Swedish


Page by Ingegerd update Aug. 2011