Oh crab! A Finnish crayfish party

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Every year when the summer turns into August and September starts creeping in, Finnish culinarists look into our thousands of lakes for something hard and delicious. Rumours of suspiciously noisy dinner parties start spreading like viruses and half of the population blames the Finnish Swedes for bringing too much happiness into the darkening evenings.

Blaming the Swedish for such a tradition actually has some accuracy. The story has that the Swedish are the ones to spread crayfish party tradition around the Scandinavian and Baltic countries. To this day, the tradition lives strong among the Swedish speaking population in Finland and an increasing number of the rest have also started “doing it”. Well, it is after all one delicious tradition!

Once you get the taste of it…

…the crayfish party becomes something you simply HAVE TO HAVE every year. I can take pleasure in knowing that I’m not the only one consumed by this obsession.

The concept of the party is simple and genius. The crayfish party is basically about… well, eating the crayfish. However, the tradition is greatly affected by the raw alcohol shots included in the dining experience. Messy eating and happy drinking combined with warm August nights and the best possible company of friends and family – could it get any better? It’s basically Christmas time for adults! We get to be messy and sing special songs too. There’s nothing to dislike!

Messy eating and happy drinking combined with warm August nights and the best possible company of friends and family – could it get any better?

This year it was yet another great experience

So this year we planned our own crayfish party with a small party of friends. Last weekend we left the city light behind us and drove into a summer cottage by the lake somewhere in the middle of Finland. Saturday was our chosen day for some major crayfish enjoyment. It was the very same day the “Kiira” storm hit Southern Finland. We chose to embrace the possibility to eat inside the small candle lit wooden cabin, while the big thunderstorm would rage outside our windows.

We had it all planned and ready to go:

  • we had the crayfish prepared
  • we had the booze smoking cold (Koskenkorva)
  • we had replaced the forgotten crayfish knives with the ones we found in the cottage
  • we had last minute bought the much needed shot glasses for the booze (something we also forgot to take with us)
  • we had loads of bread to eat the crayfish with (too much bread)
  • we had replaced the missing butter with selfmade garlic oil (which btw tasted fantastic)
  • and most importantly: we had theme related setting and deco

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Boy, were we ready for the big thunderstorm and the romantic atmosphere it would create for the party! The rumbling closed in and it was loud. It started raining. And then that was all of it! The storm circled right past us, never giving us more than distant murmuring and some gentle rain. What a disappointment. So we had the party with rain conforming us with its soothing sounds.

When you combine Finnish people with alcohol after midnight, there’s a good chance that they start digging deep. They will start philosophical, earth shattering, honest conversations about life. Sitting next to a living fire exponentially increases the chances of this happening.

When you combine Finnish people with alcohol after midnight, there’s a good chance that they start digging deep.

We ladies took our fruit in a basket and walked through the dark forest to start an open fire to make some dessert. What happened was exactly was could be expected: we talked long into the night about life, relationships, fear and dreams. It was sun that made us realize that the night had passed in deep conversation. There are few joys in life that are equal to first pouring your heart out to someone and going to bed with the sunrise. Overall, one might argue that the crayfish party was an overall success this year!

With friends and traditions like these – who needs therapists?

-Annu

Author: Annu

Finnish lifestyle and all things a #FinnishWoman living in #Helsinki enjoys.

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