Food & Drink

The Nordic Tradition of Crayfish Parties Makes Its Way to Manila

It's a summer tradition in Northern Europe.
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Sofitel's big white tent, a usual venue for grand parties, was transformed into a European festival at their first annual Crayfish Party in Manila. If there was ever a contest for biggest crayfish party, this might have made it to the championships, with crustacean-loving guests dressed in their thematic Viking outfits all ready to crack their knuckles and get cracking on crustaceans.

Crayfish parties are, traditionally, a Nordic celebration. Armed with snaps (that's the Nordic term for "shot") of liquor, glasses of beers, and trays upon trays full of the most luscious, reddest, freshest crayfish, the event is a nightlong toast to the summertime.

The Filipino rendition, however, happened in September, and it was the perfect homage to the beloved Scandinavian celebration. The festivities started with a speech by Bo Lundqvist, President of Nordcham Philippines. “This year’s Crayfish Party is the biggest and most exciting one by far outside of Nordic countries,” he declared.

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To further celebrate the Nordic culture, the Crayfish Party featured Swedish drinking song Helan Går, and then, naturally, a shot, or, rather, a snap. With the right mood set, it was time for the crayfish indulgence. The freshwater lobster lookalikes were flown in from Europe just for the occasion. 

Sofitel's kitchen exhibited their prowess for variety by introducing other traditional Nordic dishes like salmon gravadlax with honey dill mustard sauce and smoked tuna with crispy capers, lechon stations (for a fusion twist), and salad bars. They also had five different kinds of herring. The dessert table featured Nordic pastries and the crowd-favorite chocolate cake with—of course—a candy crayfish sculpture on top.

Nordic drinking contests, carefully curated auctions, and a DJ served as the background entertainment as guests engaged themselves in trying to demolish platter after platter of crayfish. 

The French-based Sofitel Philippines has always had a penchant for bringing the best of Europe to Manila, bringing in that brand of culture via events like the Crayfish Party. After the Nordic celebration, Spiral is also going to host a Le Grand Brunch which will feature different types of wine as well as a champagne-and-smoked salmon tasting dinner on October 31. 

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For more information, visit Sofitel Philippines' website

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Maia Romulo Puyat
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