Crawfish, Crawdads, Mud Bugs. What is it about these beady-eyed Cajun crustaceans that warm our hearts and salivate our mouths come March each year?
Of course, they’re a delicious meat in and of themselves, as well as the perfect complement to an ice cold beer, but even more than being a favorite food, crawfish represent a beloved experience often lost by many in the rush of our modern world. Crawfish bring people together, in a spirit of “come one, come all,” to slow down, eat, and laugh.
The anticipation of that first crawfish boil of the season can be felt in the southern air as spring arrives, signifying warmer weather and good times ahead. All year, we’ve waited expectantly for crawfish season to arrive. Gathering together again around newspaper-covered picnic tables, we celebrate a blend of outdoors, camaraderie, Jimmy Buffett music, and gluttonous feasting. Pounds of salt, spices, and all the lagniappe boil away, while barefooted kids chase each other with bugs in hand. Both young and old gather, friends shoot the breeze over Abita Amber, and the excitement grows as the crawfish marinate. The first batch hits the tables, relinquished to the hungry guests, and it’s finally time to get our hands dirty.
We’re messy, our lips are burning, and yet, we continue on in our rummage through the steamy batches of seafood. With primal sophistication, we devour our sweet Louisiana lobster one by one, sucking the heads and ripping the spicy meat from the tail. Under shade trees, in parks and backyards throughout the South, we celebrate life together over those crustacean-laden tables. Our whole day is dedicated to the important things of life.
Why do us Cajuns love our crawfish? Words can’t adequately explain our passion, as it’s something that must be experienced for oneself. We welcome neighbors and newcomers alike to our festivals and backyards, as long as you eat the critters properly and heed our friendly warning to resist rubbing your eyes. If it were up to us, the whole world would experience a little more crawfish in their lives, and with it, some much needed kindness and cheer.