Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Field Report: The Southern Food and Beverage Museum

My First Crawfish

Keeping in line with the Southern Food mission, I will talk about food, but in a very different manner.  This topic of discussion is completely self -centered, has nothing to do with history and is purely self- indulgent.

Wondering what it is?  They are red when cooked, look like a lobster and go by the alternative name of mudbugs.  CRAWFISH!!!!!! I love CRAWFISH!  I love their color, their taste and the way they bring people together as you put off their little heads.

I had never eaten crawfish before coming to New Orleans. I heard people try to explain how to eat them and how to avoid choking on their shells if you peel them wrong.  But I put those stories aside as I walked up to 2 large rowboats full of crawfish at a Tulane Grad School party.  I was stunned.

Me: “A boat!? You actually put them in a boat?”

Crawfish lady: “Yes, a boat, it’s the best way to feed a crowd and always get a laugh.”

As I look into the boats I see sausages AND potatoes. I’m in Heaven. I tell the lady I’ll take some of everything.  I guess she could see the excitement (and fear) in my eyes as I looked at the crawfish.  As she put my scoop full on my plate, she kindly asked if I had ever eaten them. I replied “no” and then got myself a lesson on how to eat the little guys. I sat down with my plate and dug in.   The sausages and potatoes were great and then I moved on to the big pile of red things on my plate.  I hesitated.  It felt a bit barbaric to rip the heads off and twist their bodies to get the shell off, but after that first bite….. WHOA!  After that I was ripping crawfish heads off right and left! By the end, my fingers were covered with little pieces of shell and crawfish “stuff” that wet wipes could not take off.  I was a happy camper after that.  I was still hungry after peeling for an hour, so I got a big chocolate ice cream cone and finished it all.  Bottom line- I love crawfish and chocolate ice cream.  The End.

Told you it was self-indulgent.

– Meaghan Reid, Tulane AmeriCorps VISTA. For more information on history, exhibits, and volunteer opportunities, please visit the Southern Food and Beverage Museum’ s website.


About Tulane VISTA

Notes from the field from the AmeriCorps VISTA team at Tulane University.


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