Friday, June 14, 2013

Crawfish – A Louisiana Staple

Me with a pile o' boiled crawfish!
Well I’d have to say that rice and our Cajun spices are a real staple of our cuisine, but crawfish is a delicacy associated with our state. And they are just mighty tasty too!
So here’s some info about our history of eating “crawdads” (as some of my family call them).
According to the Louisiana State University’s Agriculture Center, crawfish have been consumed for centuries by Native Americans and in many parts of Europe, but commercial sale of crawfish in Louisiana only began in the late 1800s.
At that time, supplies were harvested from natural waters throughout the southern region of the state. The first record of a commercial crawfish harvest in the United States was in 1880 from the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana.
Small harvests of farmed crawfish occur in other states, such as Texas, California, Arkansas and the Carolinas, but Louisiana is by far the largest producer of crawfish in the United States. Official estimates are not available, but industry experts estimate that Louisiana usually accounts for 85-95% of total U.S. production from year to year. 
We not only eat them boiled with corn and potatoes but also in other traditional dishes of gumbo, etouffee and more. Our crawfish boils are also held for family reunions, celebrations (I had one for my college graduation party) and other social events.
Some friends at a crawfish boil
Have you tried crawfish before? Did you like them? Do you have interesting cultural cuisine from your area? Please share.

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