Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Crawfish Time Brrrr

It's crawfish season again and as usual it starts off slow because of the cold weather. These ugly little mudbugs don't like to crawl out unless it's a pretty sunny day and they had a warm night's sleep. The thirties we've experienced since the first of the year are playing havoc with their routine.

Last year the farmers nearly went out of business with the high cost of diesel so they tried to wait on rain this year instead of pumping water with diesel run pumps. Unfortunately in the areas where the rain was needed it didn't show up, so between the cold and farmers getting a late start, the crawfish have been small, expensive, and immature.

As the season moves along and the crawfish get warmth and sunshine, they grow and their shells harden, making them more durable and more desirable. Neither the farmer nor the retailer has as much trouble with loss due to weak dying crawfish. (Late in the season, they are so hard you'll tear your fingernails trying to eat them.)

Since I wasn't raised here, it always surprises me the lengths people will go to for their favorite food. As a matter of fact, it seems like they are getting more and more addicted to crawdads.

Last week the weather was unseasonably cold for Central Louisiana so we anticipated slow sales, but late on Friday afternoon, with a driving wind, rain, then sleet mixed with snow, customers lined up fighting the elements to purchase crawfish.

I tried to capture the snow blowing with the sleet but all you can really see is the flag whipping in the 40 mph wind. Crawfish man is pretty rugged. He cleaned the crawfish, stood out by that cooker in the driving sleet, stirring the pot, then all the maintenance and cleanup. Whew!

Does it make you wonder what you're missing?

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