Boy you Swedes sure have invented plenty of excuses to drink yourselves (and your foreign guests) into oblivion. From The King's Birthday to Midsummer, the summer itself of course, every weekend and now we have discovered The Chaos of Crayfish that descends upon Sweden just as everyone returns from the summer hiatus of July.
I still consider ourselves newbies here but this past weekend, we were invited to not one but TWO "kräftskiva's"...that's Crayfish for you non-Swedes. These parties involve a) Bringing and eating your own crayfish, pre-packaged and available at all the grocery stores b) Wearing funny hats and c) Singing Swedish drinking songs (for which lyrics are provided!) and shooting Swedish schnapps. d) Getting really drunk, and likely equally sick, which according to Swedes is due to the crayfish juice and whatever alcoholic beverage you're consuming not getting along in your tummy.
|Me and the friend having a crayfish fight. Silly hats..check.|
Optional: Cheese pie. But a special kind of cheese pie called Vasterbotten (sp?). It's yummy.
WARNING!!!!!! Please be advised that should you be attending a proper Kraftskiva, there will another "special" dish on the table. And it's not "special" in the nice way either. It's "special" in that other way. You'll know it. Not when you see it, but when you smell it. It's fermented herring "surströmming" and its scent is likely extracted from the EXCREMENT plant. "Eau de SHIT". As my hubby so lovingly commented, "The only good thing about this is that you can fart within a 50 meter radius and noone would know it was you." If someone says to you, "This is the shit." when referring to this traditional fish, they mean it literally.
|One of these things is not like the other. I'll give you a hint. It's in the red can!!!!!!!!!|
It was pouring rain during this first Kräftskiva and under normal circumstances I would consider the walled-in tent protecting us from the elements a welcome solution. Unfortunately, it was keeping the element in. Sorry, elementS as there were six cans of this whoop ass (again, take that literally) strategically placed on the long tables for all to uhmmm...enjoy?
Being the sports we are and no thanks to hubby's rationale of "There's no way it can taste as bad as it smells", we tried it. The idea is to grease up two pieces of flat brad, load some potatoes onto it and sandwich the fermented herring between them. Let's just say I will forever question hubby's rationalization skills from that moment forward. It.was.awful. So horrific that I had to spit it into my napkin, unapologetically I might add. I spent the next ten minutes flushing the taste sensation from my abused mouth with copious amounts of alcohol.
To be fair, according to Swedes, you either Love it or you Hate it. In my humble opinion, they need to bring back Fear Factor and put this on the menu in place of cockroaches and larvae. If I had the choice, bring on the bull testicles!
So, this was Crayfish Party #1. I refused to enter Crayfish Party #2 the next evening until I was absolutely certain red cans were nowhere in sight. I'm still having flashbacks...
You're welcome for the warning.