Researchers attempt to de-bunk common crawfish myths

Photo provided by staff
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 6:48pm

For many in South Louisiana, the crawfish boil is an art, passed down for generations.

"My cleaning process consists of using salt, putting that in the water, then turning them over. I do that about 2-3 times until the water becomes clear, that's when I know my crawfish have been purged," explained Eric Brown of his crawfish.

But new research is showing some of those truths we rule our crawfish boils by, aren't so true at all.

"The salt water does nothing in terms of allowing or forcing the crawfish to evacuate the intestinal tract, certainly a fresh water bath does help clean the exterior of the crawfish," explained Professor of aqua-culture Ray McClain.

But what about those straight-tailed crawfish?

"If that tail is straight, that crawfish was dead when I put him in there to boil," explained Brown.

It turns out that rule, is not really one to live by either.

"Dead crawfish can have a tightly curled tail and we also discovered that live crawfish, under some circumstances will come out of the boiling pot with a straight tail," said McClain.

Despite what the experts say, people we spoke to maintain that their family way is still the best way.

"I disagree, I disagree completely, because the taste, I've been with somebody who didn't do it, and the taste was totally different," exclaimed Brown.

Researchers actually busted the myth of straight versus curled -tailed crawfish about three years ago, but for many in South Louisiana, the rule remains.


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