The South is a place where legendary story tellers have created folktales which weave a beautiful and rich history and the Cajun story of how the crawfish came to be is no different. This account by the way is gospel, as indeed are most of the stories told in the South……….
‘The crawfish originally began life as lobsters but travelled on a very long journey south with the exiled people of French Acadia, an area known as Maritimes in Canada today. It was such a lengthy, arduous and treacherous journey that by the time the lobsters reached their final destination they were mere shadows of their former selves. They had lost so much weight and condition they transformed into crawfish’.
A beautiful warm sunny day in Memphis and the smell of steaming spiced crawfish lured us to the ‘Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival’. A one-day-only celebration of the humble crawfish held near the banks of the mighty Mississippi River.
It is mesmerizing to watch the efficient brutality in which these little crustaceans are prepared and dispatched.
Now twenty bucks at this festival will buy you a three pound bucket of brick red, steaming crawfish. And the bonus, you don’t get potatoes or corn with that either. Just beautiful sweet crawfish. Don’t like crawfish! Then ten dollars will buy you a 1/4 bucket of shrimp. Don’t like shellfish of any kind!! That’s okay too because there are plenty of vendors who will happily serve up all kinds of Southern and Cajun classics.
So with a cold beer in hand, bums firmly planted on a curb, the heady waft of cooked shellfish in the air and a bucket or three of crawfish we settled in for some messy good fun. And the verdict on the crawfish……..just excellent!!
My two best tips for this festival:
- Definitely go!
- Definitely take cash!!
As it seems with all things cooked in the South, the Cajun food is no different. It is plentiful, well seasoned, rustic and cooked with much love. We were absolutely and very happily stuffed full so barely able to move, we slowly headed back toward Beale Street…….but that’s another story waiting to be told xx