Tuesday, April 21, 2015

'Suck the Heads, Eat the Tails"

Suck the head ...

We recently attended our first crawfish boil – a Louisiana tradition heartily embraced by our neighbor Eddie. This winter Eddie moved into the house next door, a house that had been vacant for two years. He's a great guy, one of those guys who is always working on a project, always has a story. And he loves holding crawfish boils. In fact, next month is his annual competition – at which a half dozen people compete for the title.

... and eat the tail.
This first one was a test run, his first crawfish boil in his new home. And it was great. Eddie has a custom-designed table, stainless steel with an opening in the middle for the trash. He boiled 70 pounds of crawfish which he poured around the table and everyone dug in.

If you've never eaten crawfish, here's how you do it, if you've never eaten crawfish. Grab the crawfish at the base of the tail and break it in half. Suck the head. That's what I said. Suck the head, because apparently that's where a lot of the flavor is. I'm not sure about that, but it's what you do. Then you peel the shell off the tail and eat the meat inside. 

It's good. No question about that. Eddie prides himself on his culinary ability, and rightly so. He cooked in two batches and the second was a lot spicier than the first. He also made jambalaya. It goes without saying that his jambalaya was WAY better than the pot I had put together a few months ago. Although I've gotta say, mine wasn't completely out of line, and eating Eddie's was educational, almost a revelation. I learned a lot, and my next will be better.

On the one hand, even the bigger crawfish are kind of small, and the whole process of eating one is a lot of effort for a small bite. In that sense they're sort of the artichokes of the seafood world. But that misses the point. They are delicious, and more importantly, it's a whole social thing. We met a lot of people, stood around talking, learned more of the culture. It was a lot of fun.
Eddie's guests gather 'round his crawfish table, where mounds
of the seafood awat. Eddie is the guy in the white T-shirt

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

oh my god, crawfish makes me hungry even if I ate 5 minutes ago. I wanna host a crawfish party at home but I'm not sure if I can pull it off, since my cooking skills are not that great, maybe at papas games website but not the real thing.