Pre-autumn, end of August and beginning of September, is the time when Swedes and Finns go catching crayfish from rivers. Then we have a feast and put Summer to rest for another year. I have only ever attended one crayfish party and that was in London. And it was a very short party for me since after couple shots of Aquavit I found myself hugging the toilet for the rest of the evening. It so happens that I have been destined to celebrate these traditional feasts abroad only: this time in Bratislava!
I was so happy when I was invited to a colleague's crayfish party here. It was a great opportunity to meet other Nordics living here and also to catch up with the people I already knew. Also, the fact that there were going to be two gorgeous golden retrievers made my RSVP be a big fat YES. When I arrived at their beautiful home I obviously had to go straight into the back yard where the dogs were kept. And it was mmmayhem! They were so excited and so cute and so muddy and so funny jumping on me and rolling in the mud. After a quick pat I found sanctuary again inside the house :D
So, crayfish. In the Nordic countries it's traditional to catch them yourself but because the catch might not be very big most people tend to rely on the frozen sections in super markets. Our hosts had found these dudes from the frozen section of Ikea where they had arrived from China. Eating them is messy and they definitely do not qualify for fast food! You have to break the tail from the rest of the body, remove the meat from the shell (which sounds much easier than it actually is), remove the shit shoot from the meet and then you're ready to eat. Also the scissors/claws/whatevertheyare have meat in them but breaking those apart can hurt you; they have really sharp spots on them.
The meat is really good (if you like the taste of seafood) but in the end there are much more leftovers than edible stuff so there are always other dishes served as well. This time those dishes included pasta salad, bread, different kinds of cheeses, salami, and vodka from pretty much every Nordic country. And because this tradition is originally from Sweden also the tradition of singing drinking songs before every shot must follow. Each song reminded me of one student party in Finland where we sang those songs... and where I got food poisoning.
|Apologies for the horrendous quality....|
I do not know how time flew so fast but all of a sudden it was 7am. I was given a place to sleep on one of the couches and in the morning.... or afternoon since it was 3pm, I was awaken by them two hairy dudes. One of them decided it's much nicer to sit on someone, not next to them. But actually it was a very nice way to wake up. They are such great dogs <3 So, thank you to our wonderful hosts, it was a great evening with good food and lovely company! :)