Gettin’ Spicy with Boiled Crawfish

Pinch it. Peel it. Eat it. Don’t forget to suck the head!
That’s the way to eat boiled crawfish and in South Louisiana it’s a staple.
During crawfish season, which generally runs from mid-February to the end of May, these mudbugs are a delicacy that inspire thousands of parties through crawfish boils.

A crawfish looks like a lobster who walked all the way from Maine to the bayous of Louisiana and lost a lot of weight along the way. The two crustaceans are very closely related. Crawfish average in size from two to six inches, while lobster can grow to more than 20 inches. Lobsters live in salt water and crawfish in fresh water. While lobster and crawfish are both often boiled, boiled crawfish are much spicier.

It’s this spicy preparation that makes the crawfish boils popular in South Louisiana. People gather and drink beer while sacks of crawfish are being boiled, often with sausage, potatoes, corn, and other vegetables that soak up the cajun spices. Once the boiling is done, the presentation is a lot less fancy than that of its lobster relative. Tables are covered with newspaper and piles of the delicious crawfish are poured on top.
At that point it becomes every man for himself. Find the sausage. Find the corn. Find the biggest crawfish. The feeding frenzy is like a piranha attack on a spicy prey. Thousands of crawfish can be gone in minutes with piles of shells laid to the side. Then we go back to drinking beer, because that’s what we do in Louisiana.

If you’re lucky enough to attend a crawfish boil, here’s a tip: Don’t touch your face, especially your eyes. Another tip: Wash thoroughly before using the bathroom. A tip from Kyle and Geneva Joys video: Get a bidet. Didn’t watch the video? do yourself a favor and watch it now. Then check out Kyle at: and Geneva Joy Hughes at:

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Joshua Shoopman

Joshua is a lover of travel and food based in New York City

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