Thursday, August 24, 2006

Crayfish Season in Stockholm

I’m back in Stockholm for the weekend and this time it’s crayfish season. On my last visit everyone was telling me about Krafiskiva parties, celebrations that start August 8th and involve eating crayfish, singing drinking songs, and tossing back aquavit or snaps, (a sip for each song) till you are fairly drunk. Shops all over Stockholm have crayfish displays and every restaurant is serving them.

My first crayfish experience was at Lisa Elmqvist, an incredible seafood restaurant and seafood shop open for lunch only and located inside Ostermalms Saluhall a 19th century indoor food market. I ordered them again at Wedholms Fisk, another favorite restaurant, for dinner. The Lisa Elmqvist crayfish were exceptional and casually served. The crayfish at Weldholms Fisk were also delicious and the elegant presentation was breathtaking, just like a still life.

The Swedish recipe calls for the crayfish to be blanched in hot water then put into an ice bath, cooked with sugar, water, beer and lots of salt. They are then poached covered with the liquid and when cool refrigerated overnight. Served with crown of dill, the ritual of eating them includes loud slurping sounds.

I got the hang of it after several crayfish and I must say the meat was so good and very different from the crayfish in Louisiana. The tail meat is plumper and sweeter. I began by drinking elderflower aquavit with them and saw at once how an evening of this could lead to some serious damage. I switched to white wine asap. Though crayfish are actually available much of the year, the Krafiskiva parties are summer rituals to treasure. I’m so happy to have had this experience to cap off my summer visit to Stockholm.

Wedholms Fisk
Nybrokajen 17
S-111 48 Stockholm
Telephone 08.611.78.74_

Lisa Elmqvist
Ostermalms Saluhall
114 39 Stockholm
Tel: 08-553-40-400


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