Sweden’s champion prawn peeler hauls in a big catch

Sweden's champion prawn peeler hauls in a big catch
Prawn peelers in action. Photo: Bengt Johansson
The Olympics are getting closer, but Sweden already has a new champion in an unlikely "sport": prawn peeling.

The Swedish Prawn Peeling Championships took place on Wednesday in Strömstad, near the Norwegian border. 


The aim of the hotly contested championship: to peel 22 prawns as quickly as possible. Any shell left on the plate leads to a five-second penalty. The winners hauled in a share of a hefty 5,000 kronor ($580) prize pot.


This year's proud winner was Inger Andersson, who completed the challenge in 1 minute 40 seconds. Asked by the local paper about her victory, she said it felt “fantastic.” The Local's sources tell us she had a slight advantage, having once peeled prawns for a living, but despite this she was a way off the all-time record of 1 minute 19.


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Even the great and the good took part, with the political section of the competition won by a local Social Democrat. 


“It started in the nineties as a way of seeing what we could do for the tourists, so we went to Malndal in Norway where they did this and got the idea,” organizer Bengt Johansson, chairman of the Swedish Prawn Academy, told The Local.


Strömstad is one of Sweden’s biggest ports for prawn fishing, although the industry has shrunk in recent years.


And while Johansson didn’t have any tips for how to peel prawns, he was full of ideas about how to eat them:


“Fresh prawns should be eaten as they are, preferably with a nice bit of bread, some mayonnaise and some white wine. A cold beer is good too.”