I'm not sure what took me so long, but I finally made my crawfish dreams come true and bought a "King Kooker."
Its propane-fueled fire heats 50 quarts of liquid, ready-to-boil a round of seafood or fry an entire turkey.
Ever since, I've become obsessed with boiling things.
Well, mostly crustaceans.
I'm not new to eating them. I am new to cooking them.
I admit, the quick transition from live creature of the Gulf to tasty meal is harsh and somewhat horrifying if I even think about it even a little.
The taste helps put my mind at ease. Some say the peeling is too much work for the tiny bite of crawfish or shrimp... but to me, the fun is in the social experience of it all.
I haven't always been so great at peeling. The evidence is on video from my attempt at the 2006 Breaux Bridge Crawfish Eating Contest. I was invited to partake while covering the festival - a right of passage for any honorary Cajun new on the job in Acadiana!
I was up against true mudbug masters who could peel, pinch, suck, and eat the crawfish one-handed in rapid fire. I'll never forget it.
Here's the clip that ended up on the news...
By the time I left Lafayette that September for a new job in Birmingham, my skills improved a bit. Thanks, in part, to the best going away party ever courtesy of Darla Montgomery and her famous low country boil. Now that I have a cooker I'm ready to host my own, Darla!
Jeremy Campbell is an ATLien, storyteller, traveler... & often all three at once.