Many people find eating boiled whole crawfish to be intimidating. They can’t fathom eating something that’s still fully intact and seemingly staring at them… so, why do some people love crawfish so much? Well, the simple answer is that they are delicious. Most people who love crawfish grew up eating them, so cracking them open and sucking out the sweet meat is second nature.
Most people who grew up eating crawfish fondly refer to them as “mudbugs” or just “bugs”. Crawfish boils are legendary – they are an excellent excuse to get together and enjoy great grub, beer, music and company. All generations of family, friends and neighbors get together for an all-out tongue-pleasing, belly-filling, crawfish-chomping party.
The recipe for boiling crawfish generally consists of potatoes, corn, lemons, onions, sausage, mushrooms, garlic, crab boil seasoning and salt. There are many recipes, but that’s the basics. Most Cajuns feel that the spicier the crawfish, the better.
There’s something satisfying about hearing that snap as you twist the head off of a crawfish. True crawfish lovers suck the fat out of the head. The yellowish orange fat, or juice, is a sample of the spices the crawfish was boiled in – it’s usually pretty spicy, and it is naturally the most flavorful and rich part of the crawfish.
To eat the actual meat, you grasp the fan looking end of the tail and peel the shell off of the underside of the tail. Bite down on the melt-in-your-mouth chunk of meat and pull it out with your teeth. The spicy meat is best when washed down with a gulp of ice cold beer.
For those who want to try crawfish meat for the first time, you may want so start out slowly… with a crawfish and shrimp etouffee or crawfish fettuccine. You get to enjoy the taste of crawfish without being intimidated by it staring back at you.
For those who want to try boiled whole crawfish for the first time, they view it as something of an adventure. Most crawfish novices don’t have a problem eating the tail meat, but shudder at the thought of sucking the fat out of the head. While the tail meat is delicious and well-worth the work it takes to boil and crack the crawfish, they are still missing out on the best part – the head. Until they can set aside their squeamishness and just go for it, they are not true crawfish lovers.