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Archive for May 17th, 2010

I just returned home from a fun wedding celebration weekend in New Orleans, Louisiana  – otherwise known as NOLA by the locals.  I was amazed by the amount of great seafood available in the city and what a big part it and the fishing industry play in the local economy.  Every menu in every restaurant I looked at had oysters, shrimp (in every which way you could imagine, including famous “shrimp po boy sandwiches”) and crawfish.  A common question asked by tourists in NOLA is: what looks, tastes, and smells like seafood, but doesn’t come from the sea? Crawfish! It is a freshwater shellfish that is considered a Louisiana delicacy.  With the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, I was very inquisitive as to how it was affecting the locals in NOLA.  Though the long-term affects remain to be seen, the immediate concerns are surrounding the inherently dangerous consumption of contaminated sea life. On a positive note – I learned that Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said crawfish are freshwater seafood and will not be affected by the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill.

Nothing else symbolizes the Cajun (A person of French Canadian descent born or living along the bayous, marshes, and prairies of southern Louisiana) culture of Louisiana like crawfish.

Crawfish (or crayfish) look like tiny lobsters. They are also known in the south as mudbugs because they live in the mud of freshwater bayous. They are more tender than lobsters and have a unique flavor. Today crawfish are an important part of the Louisiana industry.

The local Indians were known for harvesting and consuming crawfish before the Cajuns arrived. In 1983, Louisiana’s governor approved a law designating the crawfish as the state crustacean. Louisiana thus became the first state to adopt an official crustacean. That’s how serious Louisiana is about their crawfish!

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No, I did not say that!

I wonder what they call earthquakes on other planets? Marsquakes? Venusquakes?”

– Kaya, age 5

Editor’s Note:
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