Houston has a tasty little secret: crawfish! While this crustacean is closely associated with Louisiana, Houston residents have also developed a strong affection for this freshwater delicacy. For those experiencing their first crawfish meal, here are a few important tips to keep in mind.
Where to Find Crawfish
The first order of business is to determine where to find crawfish in Texas. For the uninitiated, Louisiana is the nation’s top producer of crawfish and crawfish season runs only from January to July. That being said, this doesn’t mean that you have to travel through states just to satisfy your crawfish craving as there are great restaurants in town that offer this delicacy. What’s more, some of them even offer year round crawfish to Houston residents. In other words, it’s easier than ever to enjoy this tasty morsel.
The Meat of Things
Step 1: Bring a Bib
Yes, eating crawfish is a hands-on affair—you’ll be slurping your way through each platter so you best come prepared. Luckily, you can ask your waiter for a bib so you enjoy crawfish without messing up your #OOTD.
Step 2: Off with the Head!
The next step is to crack or twist off the head of the crawfish. This will leave you with a few exposed inches of the body and tail. FYI: the heads are also tasty, so you don’t necessarily need to toss them away.
Step 3: Peel off the First Three Segments
The first three segments of the crawfish’s shell are the hardest, which also make them the easiest to remove. Just use your hands to peel away these segments and you’re well on your way to enjoying crawfish.
Step 4: Time for the Tail
It’s time to get rid of the tail now. To do so, press the flipper-like part of it upwards (i.e. against its natural curve) until you hear a snap.
Step 5: The Best Part
Here comes the most awaited part: eating the meat! The past three steps have effectively loosened the meat from the shell, and all you have to do is just suck out the good stuff. Yes, the meat just comes right out! As previously mentioned, you can also suck out the meat from the head if you so desire.
Crawfish are already tender, juicy, and flavorful on their own, but they also pair well with other food and drinks. Below are just some recommendations:
You can’t have a crawfish boil without having a couple of beers to wash things down. Beer is an especially apt beverage if you’re having crawfish during the summer, when the temperature is truly kicking.
If you want a little more protein in your crawfish boil, then consider adding a few links of sausage into your meal. Of course, opinions differ on whether or not this addition is necessary. Purists say it’s better to focus on the crawfish, while others say that sausages are fine as long as they aren’t boiled with the critters as this leads to an undesirable taste.
Vegetables such as potatoes and corn are traditionally added into the boiling broth of the crawfish, and they serve as a nice change of pace from the luscious meat of this tasty crustacean.
Indeed, a crawfish boil is one of the highlights of the local Houston dining scene and should be experienced at least once. Hopefully, these tips will help you better enjoy your first crawfish dining experience. Happy slurping, everyone!
How to Eat a Crawfish, wikihow.com
Crawfish Boil 101: Expert boilers give you their advice, nola.com
Crack and Peel: An Easy Way to Eat Crawfish, thekitchn.com