Swedish crayfish party

It’s time for the Swedish tradition crayfish party, or “kräftskiva” as we say in Swedish. During the month of August and some time in September the Swedes gather with friends and family to eat and drink celebrating the first crayfish harvests.

In fact this is a nordic tradition, but it has its origin in Sweden and the swedes are very proud and fond of their “kräftskiva”.

The crayfish priemer is legally limited to late summer (August) when the first crayfish are usually harvested. Common party accessories are paper hats, paper tablecloths and paper lanterns with crayfish- and “man in the moon”-printing on it. Since crayfish are quite messy to eat we usually set the table with paper or plastic plates as well (see photos).

It’s customary to drink “snaps” (e.g Vodka or Akvavit) with the crayfish, but also beer and other cold drinks are usually served. It’s also common to sing traditional drinking songs (traditional Swedish songs where the lyrics have been replaced to suit the “crayfish-theme”).

How too cook the crayfish? You boil them in richly salt water and season them with fresh (crown) dill, which are harvested after the plant has flowered. The crayfish are usually served cold and you eat them using your fingers and a certain crayfish-knife. Often you eat the crayfish with bread, garlic butter, different kinds of dip sauces (e.g. aioli) and Västerbotten-pie (a strong tasting and salty cheese).



© Petra Roman 2020, PR Text&Bild

Photos: Pixabay, Creative Commons

Swedish Midsummer

Midsommar as Swedes call it, is by far one of the most popular and celebrated days during the whole year. I dare say it’s as big as Christmas Eve. Midsommar takes place in the middle of June and is a celebration of “Sommarsolståndet”, which means that day and night are the exact same length.

It’s as light as daylight at midnight and the story is that if you pick 7 different wild flowers and put them under your pillow, you’ll dream about your future spouse.

Usually there is dancing, eating and drinking involved. The rising of the Midsummer pole is a big thing, and when it’s been risen we dance around it, often accompanied by folk music.

Midsommar is very much about the children and both girls and boys are all dressed up, often in all white. We eat pickled herring and new potatoes with snaps and beer for lunch, and at night we usually barbeque and have strawberry cake for dessert.

© Petra Roman 2020, PR Text&Bild

Photos: Pixabay

Gothenburg Horse Show

Gothenburg Horse Show is considered to be one of the most prestigious and best indoor horse-shows in the world. The event has been reoccuring every year since the first show in 1977. Since then, over 3 million visitors have visited this amazing event in Scandinavium in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Emma Emanuelsson, winner for Sweden 2014

Photo: Peter Zackrisson, Gothenburg Horse Show

Gothenburg Horse Show is a spectacular sports event where only the best riders, and the best horses, from all over the world get to compete. Both competitors and audiences have stayed true to the event, which is seen as one of the main reasons it is still such a prestigious competition.

Sweden has managed to win the tropy no less than five times thru sensational performances by Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (1996, 2005 and 2019), Emma Emanuelsson (2014) and Peder Fredricson (2015).

Peder Fredricson, winner for Sweden 2015

Photo: Peter Carlsson cafe.se

All the winners from 1977 – 2020

1977 Gerd Wiltfang, Germany
1978 Eddie Macken, Irland
1979 Hugo Simon, Austria
1980 Harvey Smith, Great Britain
1981 Fritz Ligges, Germany
1982 Bernie Traurig, USA
1983 Nick Skelton, Great Britain
1984 Eddie Macken, Irland
1985 Rob Ehrens, The Netherlands
1986 Ian Miller, Canada
1987 John Whitaker, Great Britain
1988 Franke Sloothaak, Germany
1989 Thomas Fuchs, Switzerland
1990 John Whitaker, Great Britain
1991 Hervé Godignon, France
1992 Nick Skelton, Great Britain
1993 Nick Skelton, Great Britain
1994 Eddie Macken, Irland
1995 Jan Tops, The Netherlands
1996 Rolf-Göran Bengtsson, Sweden
1997 Alison Firestone, USA
1998 Stefan Lauber, Switzerland
1999 Willi Melliger, Switzerland
2000 Ludger Beerbaum, Germany
2001 Ludger Beerbaum, Germany
2002 Toni Hassmann, Germany
2003 Marcus Ehning, Germany
2004 Robert Smith, Great Britain
2005 Rolf-Göran Bengtsson, Sweden
2006 Jessica Kürten, Irland
2007 Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, Germany
2008 Jessica Kürten, Irland
2009 Edwina Alexander, Australia
2010 Abdullah Al Sharbatly, Saudi Arabia
2011 Philippe Rozier, France
2012 Marcus Ehning, Germany
2013 Ludger Beerbaum, Germany
2014 Emma Emanuelsson, Sweden
2015 Peder Fredricson, Sweden
2016 Marcus Ehning, Germany
2017 Aldrick Cheronnet, France
2018 Robert Whitaker, Great Britain
2019 Rolf-Göran Bengtsson, Sweden
2020 Daniel Deusser, Germany

For more information about previous winners, events, photos, statistics etcetera.

Petra Roman, freelance writer and CEO at PR Text&Bild

Falu red

There is this certain color, a very specifik red nuance, which is called Falu red, or Faluröd as it’s called in Swedish.

Falu red paint is mainly used to paint the exterior of a house, and usually on smaller cottages and/or summer houses. You’ve probably seen pictures of the idyllic little Swedish cottage with a white wooden fence and white house knots?

The Falu red houses are obviously common in Falun, but they do also appear frequently in the small fishing villages on the West Coast of Sweden.

By Petra, PR Text&Bild

Easter in Sweden

The Swedes have been celebrating Easter, originally according to the Gregorian Calendar, since 1844. Until 1969 everything was closed on Easter Friday (in Swedish “Långfredag”, or Long Friday) – grocery stores, cinemas, restaurants, clothing stores etc. Of course due to the memory of Jesus Christ.

The last supper

According to Christian tradition Jesus arose from the dead during the Jewish “Pesach” (in Swedish “påsk”). In Sweden Easter is a holiday/tradition in which folklore, ancient Nordic tradition and Christian tradition are mixed together.

Photo: pixabay.com

Easter is celebrated sometime between March 22:nd and April 25:th. Many Swedes see it mainly as an opportunity to gather friends and family, eat lots of good food and sweets etc.

Traditional food and drinks

The Swedes like to shoot fire crackers during Easter, which normally lasts for five days: Skärtorsdag, Långfredag, Påskafton, Påskdagen and Annandag Påsk.

Traditionally we have Påskmust, Påsköl and snaps to drink and pickled herring, smoked salmon, kavring, eggs, meat balls, cheese and lots of sweets to eat (see my post on Swedish candy).

Decorations

Easter is also a celebration of light, since the Swedes are coming out of a long, dark winter period. Easter means spring is around the corner, and the flower markets are filled with people longing for floral beauty.

Fettisdagen

Fettisdagen, or White Tuesday, is a Christian tradition celebrated 47 days before Easter. That means it can be celebrated between February 3:d and March 9:th.

Fastlagen – The Fast

Fettisdagen is the third of the three days in “Fastlagen” – the days heading up to the fast: “Fastlag Sunday”, “Blue Monday” and “White Tuesday”.

According to Swedish tradition the fastlags bun, in Swedish “semla”, is baked, sold and enjoyed all over Sweden during White Tuesday. This year (2020) it means February 26:th.

The semla

The “semla” is a traditional wheat bun seasoned with cardemom, filled with mandelmassa and topped with whipped cream.

The reason why the semla is quite heavy is the period of fast that follows – you’re supposed to “fatten up” in order to go through it successfully.

Lösgodis – Swedish candy

Lösgodis is various kinds of candy (see photos) that are sold separatly. People pick their favourites and put them in a “candy bag” or a “candy cup” before they weigh it and pay for it.

In Sweden people eat quite a lot of sweets and candy. Or as we call it: lösgodis (or smågodis). 2009 the Swedes ate more candy than any other population in the world* – around 18 kilos per person (about 40 pounds).

Swedish lösgodis is now spread globally, mainly through the Swedish furniture store Ikea, but also through export. 2014 Ikea sold lösgodis in 20 or more European stores, and the plan was to offer it in North America and Asia too.

*The large consumtion of candy is one of the reasons that obecity is an increasing problem in Sweden, especially among younger people.

The Nobel Price

Yesterday it was time for the annual Nobel Price award to be handed out, which means that it was also time for the Nobel Price Banquet.

Since it is an event shown on television we are all allowed in to the salons of Nobel Price award winners, scientists, politicians, company leaders and of course, royalties.

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The Swedish Crown Princess Victoria in a stunning dress from Swedish fashion designer Selam Fessahaye

Photo: Svensk Damtidning

December 10 is an extremely important date for many people. Just think about all the planning, the logistics, the security and the food. The food… It is not “just food” that is being served at this banquet, it is blood, sweat and tears, months and months of preparations and tastings and disasters. It is a piece of art served on the most exquisite China designed by Swedish artist Karin Björquist.

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The Nobel China designed for Rörstrand.

Photo: Bukowskis

 

The Nobel Price award winners 2019

James Peebles, physics

Michel Mayor, physics

Didier Queloz, physics

John Bannister Goodenough, chemistry

M. Stanley Whittingham, chemistry

Akira Yoshino, chemistry

William G. Kaelin Jr., medicine

Peter J. Ratcliffe, medicine

Gregg L. Semenza, medicine

Peter Handke, litteratur

Abiy Ahmed, peace

Abhijit Banerjee, economics

Esther Duflo, economics

Michael Kremer, economics

For more information

Written by: Petra Roman 🖤

“Sill & nubbe”

In Sweden there is an old tradition of having “sill and nubbe” at Christmas, as well as at Easter time and Midsummer. We actually eat and drink very similar during these three holidays.

“Sill” and “nubbe” is pickled herring and snaps, or a shot (e. g vodka). Usually the “nubbe”, or snaps, is spiced with cumin, citrus or some other quite peppery spices. It can also be completely clear like “Absolut Vodka”, a very strong Swedish alcoholic beverage (40%).

 

Sill and nubbe. Photo: pinterest.com

The pickled herring, or “sill”, is usually spiced with e.g mustard, curry, citrus or peppers and is served with boiled potatoes, sour cream, chives and a “nubbe”. At Christmas the “sill and nubbe” is usually accompanied by home made meatballs, sausages, Christmas ham, patés, cale salads and much more.

Since the traditional Swedish Christmas dishes are quite salty we often round it off with a sweet dessert called “ris a la Malta”. It is kind of like rise pudding, only we serve it with jam or sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top. On top of that there is all the candy and chocolate…

Merry Christmas, or as we say in Swedish – God Jul! ☃️🎄☃️

 

Traditional Swedish food and X-mas decor

Photos: pinterest.com, ica.se

 

By Petra Roman. 

Freelance writer, PR Text&Bild

 

The Royal Family

Sweden has been a monarchy for more than a thousand years and we’ve had around 70 different kings during this time. Our present king, Carl XVI Gustaf, was inaugurated in 1973 and is our 74:th regent.

The Swedish King and his bride to be in 1976
Foto: IBL

The Swedish king is of French heritage, and the Bernadotte’s have been on the Swedish throne since 1818. Before it was only male monarchs who could inherite the crown, but since this was changed in 1980 our next regent is the Crown Princess Victoria.

The Crown Princess will, if she ascends to the throne as expected, become the fourth queen regnat in Sweden after Queen Margaret, Queen Christina and Queen Ulrika Eleonora.

Official engagements

The Crown Princess Victoria travels a lot and often makes official trips both abroad and within Sweden as a representative of Sweden. In 2016 The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed Victoria a member of Sustainable Development Goals Advocates for Agenda 2030, and since then The Crown Princess primarily works with issues concerning health and water.

The Crown Princess of Sweden
Foto: Stella Pictures
The Crown Princess, The Prince and Princess Estelle
Foto: Stella pictures