For centuries now, Nordic countries have continued their tradition of eating and drinking during the summertime as a way to celebrate the crayfish harvest in their regions. Known as a Crayfish Party, Nordic people from all walks of life dine outdoors and sing their traditional drinking songs, all while feasting on crayfish and alcoholic drinks to their hearts' content.
The tradition started in the 16th century, during the reign of Swedish King Erik XIV who made it a thing to enjoy crayfish as a way to mark the end of the summer. When a plague hit the country in 1907, a law was eventually made prohibiting the fishing of crayfish year-round, except during a couple of months from August, which is their crayfish season.
While it's technically no longer summertime here in the Philippines, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, together with NordCham Philippines and Philippines Norway Business Council, still lets Filipinos enjoy and experience the famed Nordic feast here in Manila with the annual Crayfish Party, set to happen this September 14 at the Harbor Tent.
Now on its fifth year, the venue will again be transformed into a Viking-themed coastal village, serving plate after plate of crayfish, classic Nordic dishes, as well as free-flowing beer to complete the celebration. It will also be featuring musical sets by DJ Yuki and Silk Band, which will be performing a musical tribute to the Swedish iconic group ABBA.
Tickets for the Crayfish Party are available at P3900 per person and at P72000 for a table of 20 pax. A portion of the sales will be for the benefit of Chosen Children Village (CCV), a foundation that's dedicated to housing and caring for physically and mentally-challenged children.
Here are all the dishes to try from this year's Crayfish Party:
Start off your feast with a good variety of cold cuts and cheese to pair! Sofitel will be preparing three kinds of cold cuts (salami, mortadella, and jamon) and cheese (brie, gouda, and edam) which you can always enjoy with breads and crackers from their bread basket.
If you want to begin your meal with some salad, you may pick from their Cucumber Salad with Asian, Potato and Herring Salad, and Beetroot with Boiled Eggs.
The main star for the feast, make sure to have just as much crayfish as your heart would allow it! The dish is served cold, and with lemon wedges and dill leaves to enhance the flavor of the fresh seafood.
If you're one who'll be eating crayfish for the first time, you don't really have to worry as a video on how to properly eat it will be shown in the event. That way, every guest gets to enjoy and make the most of the crayfish from the head to the claws!
Available under the heat lamps are well-loved Nordic dishes like the Roasted and Boiled Marble Potatoes, and Sausages & Surkål - cabbage which is slowly-cooked with caraway, cumin seeds, apple, vinegar, sugar, salt, and butter.
There's also the classic Swedish meatballs, which is best paired with brown gravy and lingonberry jam.
Another Swedish favorite which you can have during the event is their Sailor's Stew, a kind of beef stew that's most enjoyed during the winter season. They also have Cod and Salmon Fillet which is best paired with horseradish sauce.
To represent the Philippines, Sofitel will also be serving two Filipino classics: Lechon, a staple in every Filipino feast, and Chicken Adobo that has the perfect balance of vinegary and garlicky flavors.
After getting yourselves stuffed with all the crayfish and the Nordic dishes they have, make sure to leave some more room for desserts. Here, they'll be serving Swedish desserts: Kladdkaka, which is Sweden's brownie-like chocolate cake, Ostkaka, their version of cheesecake, and Toscakaka. which is a Swedish almond caramel cake.
The fifth Crayfish Party is happening at Sofitel Manila's Harbor Garden Tent this September 14, 2019. For tickets and inquiries, you may visit Crayfish Party's official website.