Host ‘Kräftskiva’ – a Traditional Swedish Crayfish Party – Vegan Style

Swedes around the world are celebrating a summertime tradition known as kräftskiva, a “crayfish party”, which involves a lot of eating, drinking, and singing. While the feast historically involved boiling and eating crayfish, today, you can easily celebrate without harming a single one of these clever crustaceans – because, really, it’s cray cray to eat crayfish!

Here’s what you need for a vegan kräftskiva:

1. Vegan Crayfish

Crayfish are complex animals who – like all animals – want to live, and when left alone in their natural homes, they can do so for 30 years. We may not be able to hear their screams as they’re boiled alive, but we can listen to science – scientists have proved beyond any doubt that crayfish, fish, lobsters, crabs, and other sea animals feel pain.

Therefore, kindly choose to celebrate the lives of crayfish, not their death. You can do this by serving tofu, seitan, or even plant-based shrimp instead – just add lots of dill and salt.

2. Aquavit

No crayfish party is complete without aquavit, a traditional Swedish drink distilled from grains and herbs, and you can find a number of different varieties. Be careful, though, aquavit exceeds 40% alcohol by volume – so you’ll want to take it easy in order to party the night through.

While some liquors use animal-derived products in the distillery process, check out Hven Organic Aquavit, which is vegan-friendly.

3. Silly Songs

Merry drinking songs are an important part of any Swedish crayfish party. A list of songs is provided at the table, and classics include “Now We Take It” (Nu tar vi den). To celebrate crayfish (kräftor) as well as pike (gäddas) in typical Swedish singing style, we invite you to sing along to “Solidarity for Crayfish” – which is sure to amuse and inform all your guests:

Solidarity for Kräftor
Solidarity for kräftor
Solidarity for crayfish
Solidarity for kräftor
The lake is where we belong

From New Orleans to Lake Sweden, kräftor going strong
With Swedish dill or Creole spice, we still think fishing’s wrong
Our hearts are pure with kräftor pride, and gäddas by our side
The lake is where we thrive!

(Chorus again)

4. Hats and Decorations

In Sweden, virtually every supermarket stocks crayfish party accessories, including bibs and moon lanterns. Not in Sweden? Swedish homeware giant IKEA now also stocks kräftskiva decorations for the season, so no matter where you are in the world, you can get your festive accessories.

5. Traditional Dishes

In addition to vegan crayfish, be sure to include lots of delicious plant-based side dishes at the festivities. Staples include potato salad made with vegan mayo and dill, vegan caviar (also found in IKEA, among other places), vegan meatballs, and an assortment of vegan cheeses – all of which will help ensure that no one leaves the table hungry!

Hungry for More?

If you’re craving the taste of the sea, we’ve got you covered. There are loads of vegan fish products that will give you a taste of the ocean without harming any animals: