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How to make a proper "LOOZIE-ANNA" Crawfish Boil

Updated on July 7, 2017

Things You'll Need for your own Boil!


 Crawfish (2-3 lbs per person)
 Outdoor eating area
 Outdoor cooking facilities, such as an outdoor cooking burner
 Large bucket
 Paddle
 60-gallon pot Large metal strainer with handle
 8 lemons
 1 pound crawfish boil seasoning
 8 onions, peeled and sliced in half
 10 pounds new potatoe
 20 ears of corn, shucked and cut in half
 5 heads of garlic, split in half
 Newspaper


You know you're Cajun if...
The crawfish and crab shells left over from "crawfish and crab boils" have killed your grass.

How To Boil Crawfish ~ Cajun Rocket Pot

What is a Crawfish Boil?

A crawfish boil in Louisiana is a very traditional party in the south. People look forward to the season every year for many reasons. Among my friends and family it has become a southern ritual. Crawfish, crayfish, crawdads, freshwater lobsters, and mudbugs are actually the same thing. When I first moved to Louisiana as a pre-teen, I honestly had no idea what a crawfish was and definitely could not identify what they looked like if I were to see them at a local market. I learned that these strange little creatures are freshwater crustaceans that remind me of very small lobsters and are actually related to the lobster family. They are usually found in canals, brooks and/or streams where there is fresh water running. In Louisiana, it is not uncommon to find them in local ponds or at farms that raise them for sale in their own lowland water sources.

Everything goes into a pot of crawfish, and I am not exaggerating when I say everything. I have learned over the years that everyone does his or her own boil differently. It is truly up to your own personal taste on if you like things with a little bit of spice or A LOT. At my house, we get extremely creative. Cloves of garlic, whole mushrooms, and sausage sliced into bite size pieces, corn on the cob, stalks of celery, and even lemons and other citrus fruits are cut in half and thrown in the pot. All these things combined, make the most amazing variety of flavors. A jar of New Orleans Zatarain’s Shrimp Boil Seasoning and huge jar of Creole Mustard are the ingredients that add that spicy kick and will make your lips burn from all the seasoning if you start eating with chapped lips. (I am not experiencing the smells of the pot). All these ingredients are put into a pot that can hold at least 50 lbs. The giant cauldron has an inner lining with holes in it with a handle attached to make it easier for the two strongest at the party to lift up when they are done.

Anyone that is not cooking is expected to help layer an outside table with newspaper, set out the rolls of paper towels, and make sure the beverages are iced. People stand around the table chatting about how their week has been, what the kids have been up, or what festivals are coming up in the area. Conversation is usually light and entertaining like at any BBQ in America, with rock music blaring from an outside stereo and kids running around chasing the few crawfish on the ground, that escaped the same fate as their brothers and sisters. Since a crawfish will eat anything from veggies, aquatic plants, tadpoles to dog food, kids will beg their parents to take the survivors home as pets. I always found that bizarre, since a few minutes earlier, the kid’s new pet would have been eaten, had it not escaped and hid in the grass.

When it is time to finally eat, the pot and all of its contents are dumped onto the newspaper covered table and spread out evenly to cool. Everyone stands around digging in the pounds of crawfish for their favorite items to set aside. The red potatoes and corn are buttered and divided among everyone. Amazing spices and flavor that burst into your mouth and definitely clear the sinuses! You can always spot an experienced crawfish consumer at the table. They are usually the ones that can peel and eat a pound of crawfish faster than anyone.

Like other edible crustaceans, only a small portion of a crawfish is edible. You don’t eat the whole thing, and for a first timer, it can be really confusing what to do. Splitting it perfectly in half, while trying not to damage the tail meat is quite a challenge. I took me several years to be able to eat crawfish at a boil and actually feel full or satisfied. I would look around at everyone else who were popping tail meat into their mouths at such speed and efficiency with great envy. While I struggled with my first crawfish tail, the person next to me would already have eaten twenty. I have finally mastered the technique of pinching the end of the tail with my fingers and biting the meat. If you do it that way, you are able to actually suck the meat right out of the shell and quickly move onto the next one. Between idle chit chat and obnoxious jokes one person can easily eat a pound of them in less than thirty minutes. Two pounds is usually my max amount.

After living in New Orleans for many years, I discovered that Crawfish are eaten worldwide. The largest and most diverse species of crawfish are found in Southeastern North America and consist of over 300 different species. About 90% of America’s crawfish comes from Louisiana and the amounts that are sold, can weigh in the tons! The average amount to get for a ten guest boil, can range from 50-100lbs, and that is just for one boil during the season that gets hosted. The left over crawfish from the party is prepared into dishes with only the tail portion being served, everything else is discarded. Some of my favorites are gumbo, bisques and étouffées, which are served over rice. The thing to remember is that nothing gets wasted.

Westbank Boil
Westbank Boil
Westbank Boil
Westbank Boil
St. Bernard Parish Boil
St. Bernard Parish Boil

Elvis Presley - Crawfish (Film King Creole)

Crayfish Fun Facts


  • Someone who studies crayfish (and some other fish) is called a Hydrogeologist .
  • There is a species that is blue. It is called a Blue Crayfish. There are also red and white crayfish.
  • The red crayfish is the most common, the blue is the second most common, and the white crayfish is the least common.
  • The most common crayfish gets 3-4 inches long, but they can get much bigger in the wild in deep lakes.
  • Crayfish eat fish, shrimp, water plants, worms, insects, snails, plankton, and more
  • Crayfish is a freshwater variant of the lobster
  • With proper care a crayfish can live two years in captivity.
  • Over 350 species of the 500 crayfish species of the world live in the United States.
  • The most common crayfish gets 3-4 inches long, but they can get much bigger in the wild in deep lakes.

Random Note About Me :)

I am originally from the Gulf of Mexico region in Florida where seafood is very popular, so why would you eat something that lives in mud? I grew up eating shrimp, crabs, and different types of fish. My father was an excellent fisherman and would be filled with pride and excitement bringing home what he caught on his Sunday expeditions with his friends. My mother thought that anything that you had to dig for or try to catch in stream was not worth eating, and viewed crawfish as a “bottom feeder”. I adopted those views before even trying to eat crawfish, because I thought the best things to eat, was what my dad caught out of the gulf. I learned later as an adult, that my dad did not eat them because they were not kosher and not usually eaten if you are Jewish. With a Methodist mother and Jewish father, what to eat and what not to eat could get confusing as a kid!

I finally was able to get my mother to try crawfish about a year ago when she came to New Orleans from Missouri to visit for a weekend. She tried a variety of dishes that had the crawfish ingredient in common, and was surprised at how much she liked everything that I suggested. (Change in religious belief? This seems odd after you made the religious claim in the paragraph above). She finally stated at the end of dinner one night that eating them at a boil, fresh out the pot, was just too much work and would take her too long to peel them; but was willing to eat them if they were already in something. I thought that was funny, because that was the same thing I thought when I first started eating crawfish years ago. I prefer food that requires very little effort to eat it; but have grown to make an exception for Louisiana crawfish.

There is never a shortage of seafood in New Orleans!
There is never a shortage of seafood in New Orleans!

"The secret of success is to eat what you like, and let the food fight it out inside of you." -Mark Twain

How to Eat dem Crawfish by "Old Coot"


Tak ya pirogue down de bayou a ways an catch yosef bout tirty pounds o dem crawfish. Dis will tak bout six beers

Den tak dem crawfish home an tro dem in yo rain barrel or other clean water. Den add a box of rock salt. Let dem soak for bout one mo beer. While dem crawfish is purgin, start yur boil pot on de cook fire.

Tro in de spice, de whole onion, de corn an' de new potatoes an' let dem boil for one mo beer.

Den tro in de crawfish wid two box rock salt, tree or two cut lemon, mo spice an de cayenne pepper. Let all dat boil up real good fo bout two mo beers.

Put dat ole newspaper on de table and warm de bread. When de crawfish is done, pour out da water. Den dump out de crawfish on de table an set out de bread.
Den set down fo a Cajun Seven Course Meal -Six beers an a pile o crawfish!


BON APETITE

resources

Fun Facts about Crawfish, https://www.johnston.k12.ia.us/schools/Lawson/Gradelevellinks/Crayfish/funfact.html


(4) How to Eat dem Crawfish, Postby Old CooT, Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:04 pm, http://cheftomcooks.com/forum/read-and-add-funny-jokes-here-f11/topic6599.html
How to eat crawfish, http://www.wikihow.com/Eat-a-Crawfish

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    • Fullerman5000 profile image

      Ryan Fuller 4 months ago from Louisiana, USA

      I love how you spelled Louisiana too. SO clever. Reminds me of the Popeyes commercial

    • Fullerman5000 profile image

      Ryan Fuller 4 months ago from Louisiana, USA

      This article is so awesome. Being from Louisiana, I love crawfish. I lived up north for a while and craved them every time they were in season and made sure to plan a trip town when they had them. This was awesome article. Nothing brings the family and friends together than a big ole crawfish boil.