How to Eat Crawfish
Ah, crawfish season. Aside from the dawn of football season, one of the most exciting times of the year in the American South. The winter chill fades into the crisp coolness of early spring, and loved ones gather over a communal table to share in the delicious feast. The crawfish boil is definitely one of my favorite Southern traditions—good food, good weather, good people, good fun!
If you’re not from the South (heck, even if you’re not from a certain part of the South), you may be unfamiliar with crawfish (or mudbugs or crayfish or crawdads). Maybe you’ve never tasted a crawfish or heard of a crawfish boil, and you definitely didn’t realize there’s a “crawfish season.” But especially if you grew up in Louisiana or live in a place with ties to New Orleans, you can expect to celebrate crawfish season in style with a good old fashioned crawfish boil. Peaking in early-March to mid-June, crawfish season heralds the Spring, good vibes, and good fun. It’s a time to be outside with friends and family, listen to some rocking tunes, and wash down some tasty crawdads with a cold drink or two.
For those of you who didn’t grow up partaking in this ever-so-fun tradition, I’m here to tell you everything you need to know about how to eat and enjoy crawfish. These tiny little crustaceans pack a powerful flavor punch when boiled with cajun spices and veggies like corn, potatoes, and sometimes even garlic, onions, and mushrooms (yum!). But with boiled goodness comes a big mess, so Step One of How To Eat Crawfish begins with what to wear to a crawfish boil.
What to Wear to a Crawfish Boil
It is important to be mindful of your wardrobe when eating crawfish because this can be a very messy process. You’re often standing or sitting at a table that’s piled high with piping hot, freshly seasoned crawdads, using your hands to crack these bad boys open and enjoy. My recommendation is to dress for comfort and leave your dry clean only clothes at home. One friend nearly ruined her nice grey dress when she didn’t realize crawfish could stain or be quite so messy. Be prepared!
What’s more, crawfish season really gets going in the springtime, when weather is often unpredictable in the American South. Layers such as duck boots and a rain jacket can be helpful, as sunny weather can change to sudden showers in a matter of minutes.
What to Wear: Easy-to-Wash, Comfortable Layers
Last Sunday, I went to Nashville’s Butcher Block Party hosted by Cochon Butcher and Little Donkey in Germantown. At only $35 a person for unlimited crawfish, tacos, and Jackalope craft beer, it was a steal! But with unusually cold and typically rainy Nashville Spring weather, I definitely wanted to layer in older clothes I wasn’t worried about ruining!
Top: Old Columbia Fishing Shirt; Similar Here
Sweater: Old Patagonia Fleece; Similar Here
Jacket: North Face Rain Jacket; Similar Here
Pants: J. Crew Factory Gigi Pant
Socks: Camp Socks; Similar Here
Shoes: Sorrel Duck Boots; Similar Here
Now that you have an idea of how to prepare, let’s get down to the fun part…
How to Eat Crawfish
Figuring out how to eat crawfish may seem intimidating, but it’s actually really fun and quite simple. With just a few easy steps, you’ll be eating crawfish like a pro!
- Select your crawfish. Find one with a big tail (where the meat is located) to get more bang for your buck.
- Using both hands to pinch the crawfish, crack it open between the tail and the head.
- Suck the head. People will tell you this is the most important part because the head is where all the good juices and flavors are most prominent.
- Next, I like to break open and remove the tail end of the tail. This makes it easy to devein the crawfish, if you like.
- Crack open the rest of the tail, and remove the meat.
As you can probably tell, getting to eat crawfish is one of my favorite treats! What about you?