Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sucking Head and Pinching Tail

Crawfish season is in full tilt boogie now. The 2006 season was disappointing but this year shows great promise of a big, flavorful harvest. The crawfish season typically begins in January or February, depending on weather conditions, peaks in mid-March to mid-May, and finishes in June or July.

Some southern locales such as Lafayette, Louisiana, report the biggest consumption of crawfish is for Good Friday, the last meatless Friday before Easter Sunday for the Catholic population.

Crawfish are freshwater crustaceans who do not bite in cold weather. Hurricane Katrina pushed so much saltwater inland that the 2006 crawfish harvest suffered. The crawfish were smaller, had less tail meat and were not so tasty.

The favorite way of eating crawfish is to boil them in spicy seasoned water along with new potatoes and corn on the cob, then empty the pot on a newspaper covered picnic table, outdoors with lots of cold soda or beer. The seasonings from the boiling water concentrate in the head of the crawfish, which contains the body fat, and it is considered an important element in crawfish consumption.

Eating crawfish is a five step process. First the head is pulled off by twisting the tail one way the then the other to break it off. Next you peel the crawfish by crushing and peeling two or three segments of the shell from the tail to get to the meat. Then, with your teeth, you grab the meat and pull it out. The next step is to pick up the head and such the fat out. Finally, if the claws are big enough, pull the largest segment and eat the meat using your teeth to pull it out.

The most famous of the crawfish festivals in south Louisiana is the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival. Breaux Bridge is a small town outside of Lafayette. This year the festival is May 4-6. The website is www.bbcrawfest.com

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

12 comments:

Jennifer said...

I've never braved the eating of a crawfish, but your title today CRACKED MY TAIL UP!

:-)

Wordnerd said...

Words that warm a Louisiana girl's heart...

colleen said...

That title really got my attention! (I'm glad it wasn't a politcal post). But being one who lived near Houston for 7 years, I figured it pretty quickly.

I hope you make it to Ireland!

Beverly said...

I just came from having dinner with my good friend, Carla, who is from Lafayette. She'll be going for her annual trip home for the festival. She can hardly wait.

Paul is a Hermit said...

Well, let me first say, I don't get what anyone means about the title.
So you think one year is all that is needed to return the normal taste to the crawfish? I never had one but I could. Seems a manly thing to tear something apart and eat it. Why even cook it? :)

AC said...

I've had this meal though with shrimp and called it Low Country Boil. Us hill folk have to borrow the sefood traditions. I always thought Low Country was South Carolina coast. I am landlocked, 'cept for catfish and mountain trout.

I've torn apart crabs on Chincoteague and felt, not manly :-) but quite primitive, the butter dripping, the shells giving way and piling up - much merriment. Crab must feel and taste similar to crawfish or are crawfish more like lobster? Will you be preparing your own feast, Karen?

Let us know how many hits you get from Google keywords with this title!

srp said...

I might be able to do the meat in the tail but sucking fat from the head is not very appealing. I did have to laugh at the title...

My neck is stiff, my sinuses clogged to an even greater extent than usual... front went through dropping temps from 80 to 42. Lovely.

c.a. Marks said...

LOLOL You scared me, at first, with that headline of yours! LOLOLOL

And I've never had the pleasure of having crawfish. Will add it to my list of things to try before I die. For real. :-)

Paul said...

Gotta love eatin' crawdads !! :)

colleen said...

Hi Karen, I wonder if you missed my little note in the comment section of my post today. I mentioned that I was still working on the Roanoke Times story follow-up. It's been harder to articulate than I thought. I plan on posting it for Sunday/Monday. Thanks for checking back!

colleen said...

Don't want to leave you like that....thinking you're so scattered. I added the bit on the front of my post about the Part II piece after your comment! Although I did have it in the comment section when you came the first time, but I realize not everyone reads comments.

colleen said...

PPPPPS. I added the bold print after too. Signing off now...