Lack of Swedish crayfish
It's that time of the year, folks: Time for the annual crayfish party known to all Swedes as "kräftskiva". But don’t get too excited, a lack of crayfish may delay the partying. Crayfish (“kräftor” in Swedish) are sensitive to temperature, and this summer the crayfish haven’t developed properly in the cool waters, so stores around Sweden are running low. Smålandskräftor, a crayfish supplier, has noticed the decrease. “There are many theories about crayfish, but I think it is the bad weather that’s behind this,” says Joakim Behrenfors, owner of Smålandskräftor. “They shed their shells a little later since we’ve had such a cold spring and summer.” The crayfish don’t become active until the water meets a certain temperature, which means the supply will arrive later this summer. It is mainly the fresh, Swedish domestic crayfish that are delayed. According to Ullmo (another crayfish supplier), there’s plenty of imported Chinese crayfish, even though demand for them has increased due to the lack of the domestic variety.
“There’s also been interest in Turkish crayfish, and they usually get high scores in tests. So far we’ve been able to deliver as scheduled, but customers keep asking for more,” says crayfish specialist Markus Herlin at Ullmo. Yet another supplier, Pandalus, has only received one delivery of crayfish from the lake Hjälmaren, and according to them there are no crayfish in sight from the lake Vättern. “We’ve heard it’s only 10% compared to last year in Vättern. That’s close to nothing right now,” says Pandalus’ managing director Peter Arvidsson. For Pandalus, which specializes in imported crayfish, this means an increase in sales.
How to prepare your own 'kräftskiva' in the U.S. or elsewhere abroad: Swedish traditions: 'Kräftskivan' - your own crayfish party