Date: 07/08/2015

Sweden's cravings for crayfish

Author: Vanessa
Location: Sweden

It was the beginning of August and some Swedes gathered looking for a reason to celebrate and sing drinking songs (the next Midsummer celebration seemed awfully far away). Over a platter of their favourite seasonal summer dish, the congregation was scratching their heads and finally realized that the answer was right in front of them! Why not organize a crayfish festival?! The idea of a crayfish festival soon became one of Sweden’s most loved summer traditions.

The crayfish season starts in the beginning of August and lasts until September. It celebrates food, family, friends and outdoor life. The festival usually takes place within a small group of friends and has turned into a cultural institution celebrated all over Sweden. There’s a special dress code including paper party hats and the room or preferably the garden is usually decorated with paper lanterns depicting the moon.  

Due to its popularity, the festivities have led to a shortage of crayfish. Once considered a posh meal the festival now has turned into an event celebrated all over Sweden. As the festival is conveniently flexible crayfish parties can be celebrated whenever the appetite for the seasonal delicatesse tickles your taste buds.

Next to crayfish the colourfully decorated table serves typically Swedish crisp bread with aioli dips and a mushroom cheese pie. Although a dessert is not a must at a crayfish party, the occasion is definitely an excuse to dish up one of Sweden’s most popular desserts: the thousand layers blueberry pancake cake.

So what do you need if you want to organize your own little crayfish get-together?

  1. You’ll need a party paper hat preferably one that looks a little more ridiculous than the one of your friends.


Credits: Carolina Romare/

  2. You’ll need loads and loads of crayfish, despite it being the more expensive option Swedes swear on the better taste of the local products. Within Sweden there are two kinds of crayfish in the salty waters of Sweden’s West coast langoustines are roaming in the clear waters of the Baltic Sea. In other parts of Sweden you can expect the classic crayfish living under the surface of Sweden’s many freshwater lakes. 


Credits: Carolina Romare/

3.After consuming an abundance of crayfish it is time to spice up the evening with typically Swedish drinking songs accompanied by Schnapps.


Credits: Janus Langhorn/

4. In honour of the crayfish festival tradition which has been part of Sweden’s culture since the 1800 the moon lantern is a party guest that should be part of every crayfish party.


Credits: Carolina Romare/

For recipes check:

The best locations to fish or simply eat the delicacy:

Considered to be the crayfish kingdom of the Sweden the massive Lake Vaettern hosts an abundance of crayfish parties each year where the freshly fished, pinching lake inhabitants are devoured all across the shore of the lake

At Sweden’s West coast langoustine are the most commonly consumed kind of crayfish. As the saltwater species usually dwells at a depth of 35-80 metres the small fishing boats travel far from the shoreline to catch the popular delicacy. The fishing is often a strenuous process for the local fishermen but the delicious result is often worth the hassle.

Now all there is left to say is: Enjoy the party!

Header credits: Carolina Romare/

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