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Crayfish & Fermented herring season

From being known for the delicacy of the upper-class since the 16th century, the crayfish party has become a popular tradition also for common people. The party is organized in August when there are usually starlit and bright nights.
The fermented herring is an example of a very old method of preserving fish through acidification in Northern Europe and Asia.


Crayfish Party

Crayfish should be eaten outdoors and around the table should be colored lanterns. The table should be laid with a disposable cloth, the plates should be colorful and made by paper. A bib is worn around the neck and a silly hat on the head. The crayfish are eaten cold which has been cooked in brine with dill. The crayfish are eaten together with bread, pie and stored cheese from the county västerbotten. To this it is common to drink beer and the obligatory snaps.

The fermented baltic herring premiere

Eating the strong almost rotten-smelling fish is something of a men’s test and the dish therefore divides the population into two camps: one for and one against. The time for this premiere is in the middle of august every year.

The fermented herring is made by herring that is fished in the spring and then fermented in brine. About a month before the premiere, it is packed in canning jars, but the fermentation process continues. Due to the overpressure in the jar, it should be opened under water. The can, should be opened outdoors but eaten indoors, as the smell attracts flies.
The traditional way of eating the herring is a so-called “klämma”. You spread butter on tunnbröd (flatbread), hard or soft, put on the cleanesed herring on the bread with potatoes, chopped onion and tomato, fold the “klämma” together and eat it with your hands. Even for this delicacy it is common to drink beer and snaps.

It is not so common that you can get crayfish or herring served at a restaurant. Instead, you can buy your accessories at grocery stores.