Fighting Poverty with Passion
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.