Friday, October 8, 2010

Food filled Friday: Episode 1: Kräftor.

Recently we discovered that we spent way too little time on sharing our interesting and sometimes wonderful culinary experiences. We thought that we should try to regularly post something about something that gets many people out of bed: FOOD. Since we are currently in Sweden we will focus a lot on the local cuisine but we may stray from Swedish dishes. If you think this is interesting, please let us know and we will try to make this a regular feature on the blog.

This week's food is Kräftor.

In English, Kräftor translates to crayfish and refer to the freshwater crustaceans that resemble small lobsters (note that in South Africa the term crayfish usually refers to saltwater spiny lobster). These little creatures are usually consumed in August but imported varieties are available all year round (although we haven't had the chance to judge ourselves we are told by our Swedish colleagues that Swedish crayfish are the best).

Crayfish parties are common in August. During these parties there are festive costumes, colorful lanterns and of course beer, snaps, Swedes and crayfish. You eat the crayfish cold, with your fingers and are allowed to suck nosily and with vigor.

Crayfish are prepared by boiling them in brine with ample dill and some other "secret" ingredient. They are left soaking in this mixture for a while prior to consumption. We bought frozen precooked crayfish. We defrosted them for two days in the refrigerator before eating with bread and snaps. The taste is slightly fishy with overtones of dill. It is not bad at all and we can recommend it to anyone coming to Sweden during August.

The following pictures are taken during our own crayfish party. This party was a slight adaptation to the normal Swedish ones by having only South Africans and it being held in September.

Here Carina is providing some basic instructions in extracting the meat from the crayfish.

My parents quickly learn how to remove the best bits from these creatures.

Note the absence of Cindy in these photos. The reason for this is that she was unable to handle them since their hard and spiny bodies freaked her out a bit. This was not due to a lack of trying as she repeatedly pick one up just to drop it if some hard edge touched her hand (note that crayfish have exoskeletons with many many edges and handling them only on the smooth areas are impossible). This was accompanied by a shrill exclamation: "ooo, nee….ek kan nie, hulle pootjies grill my te veel, nee, nee, nee" (roughly translated it means "I am freaked out by their small legs" but I think the spiny claw and eyes did not make things easier). She was however able to enjoy the meat if someone else removed it from the shell.

Let us know if there is anything specific that you want us to eat and write about (preferably something we can find in Sweden).


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