Crawfish are a big deal in Louisiana. A lot of people call them crayfish, and they are small crustaceans that live in fresh water. My uncle Gene is a crawfisherman. I’m not entirely sure if that is a legitimate term, but that’s what he is.
Rice farming and crawfishing are intertwined in that they can happen in the same field. Rice fields are essentially shallow ponds divided by levees. Rice is grown during the summer and harvested in the fall. All of the stubble from the harvest is left in the field, and the crawfish feed on that until the crawfish season starts in the spring. Everybody in south Louisiana goes crazy during crawfish season. Crawfish can be fried, cooked in a étouffée, and put in a gumbo. They are an essential food group of south Louisiana.
I’ll talk a more about how crawfish are caught and eaten in future posts.