Don’t Like Crawfish?!
"What do you mean you don't like them?" she said. 'I don't like them, never did" I said.
"You mean you don't like to peel them, will you eat them if I peel them for you?" No. 'If you try it you'll like it' she insisted, 'no, I've tried them... I just, don't like them". Then she assured me I didn't know what I was missing and left me to have my Rocket Burger in peace.
And so the secret is out, I've never liked crawfish, whether you peel them for me or not or serve them in an etoufee, gumbo or double-dipped in chocolate and deep fried. I just don't like'm, me.
And I'm not completely alone in my dislike for crawfish - at Camp Hale Pond outside of Leadville, Colorado they're considered an 'invasive' species as this photo that I took on a recent trip shows. (the pond in March is still frozen/snowed over)
The real mystery to me is how this crustacean became an eating fad to begin with. Traditionally considered a 'poor mans' food to fend off starvation they were associated with the very rural, very poor folks of the world.
In the 1960's television show 'The Beverly Hillbillies" the formerly dirt-poor Granny Clampett along with her baked possum and fried muskrat (nutria) offerings also produced a 'smoked crawdad'. I picture a smokehouse with thousands of little crawfish hanging on the walls.
It's believed that crawfish have been eaten in Louisiana for some 200+ years since the arrival of the Acadiens, who were familiar with lobster already and picked up the crayfish eating habit from native Americans in the area.
The march of crawfish into culinary respectability probably began around 1960 when Breaux Bridge began having their crawfish festival. In the 1950's crawfish was about .25 cents a pound (but gasoline was about .20 cents a gallon too so all prices are relative) and from that first festival until now crawfish prices have risen along with their popularity at weekend family gatherings and a good 'side business' for many restaurants from January to June.
Alligators always make big news on a golf course...
crawfish are not such a big deal.
Crawfish have become so popular that many rice farmers have gone full time into crawfish 'ranching' which is now a $120 million dollar a year Louisiana industry. Some crawfish come from as far away as China too.
Now if you just can't get enough of the mini-lobsters, you'll want to attend the The Original Downtown Lake Charles Crawfish Festival April 7-9 at the Civic Center. The fest is a family oriented affair complete with carnival rides and parades, the proceeds benefit local Parkinson's diseases patients.
According to their website the DTLC Crawfish Festival promotes 'awareness of the crawfish season'. In case you missed the thousands of signs at area restaurants, drive-in's, meat markets, etc., that also promote the season.
Have at 'em... they're all yours!