May 22, 2017 Kim Cox

Crawfish Boil Etiquette (Yes, There Is Such a Thing!)

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Do you think Miss Manners has ever gone to a crawfish boil?  In my head I imagine her showing up in a silk dress and gloves up to her elbow, watching the other guests through the glasses perched on the edge of her nose.  I would be one of those “other guests” thinking, “girl, you just don’t know what you’re missing!

So, you’re lucky enough to have been invited to a crawfish boil.  There are rules for everything and a crawfish boil is no different.  Gracious Girls, let’s crack open our etiquette books so that we can be appropriate.


Crawfish boil

1.  Don’t show up in a long sleeve silk blouse.

A crawfish boil is not a fancy affair. Eating crawfish is a nasty business; there is no way to do it carefully or cutely. You are gonna get dirty and no one want to hear you whine about messing up your cute outfit.  Come prepared to get elbow deep in crawfish and the fixings. Gracious Girls, it’s ok, just this once.


2.  A crawfish boil is a “fork free” zone.

A crawfish boil is probably one of the most unpretentious gatherings you will ever attend. You see everyone as their most basic selves, hunched over a table, eating with their hands. Let go of your inhibitions and jump right in there and join them.

Crawfish boil

3.  Know how to eat the crawfish.

So this is where the head sucking and tail eating comes in; this is also probably the most unpleasant part of the whole process, but the most rewarding too. Veterans will be glad to help you but it slows everybody down when you need a lesson on how to eat crawfish.  Learn how to “suck the heads and eat the tails” by reading my post, “Do You Suck the Heads And Eat The Tails?”


4.  Peel a few for the host.

A good host always orders too many crawfish.  She wants to make sure that all her guests are well fed, but she also wants to have some left for her etouffee and gumbo. After you have eaten your fill, stay at the table and peel a few.  She might just invite you back for the gumbo!  Lucky you!

Crawfish boil

5.  Police your pile.

There is a direct correlation between the number of crawfish you eat and the size of the pile of crawfish carcasses near you.  Be kind to the other guests and periodically move them to the discard bin.


Gracious Girls, I think you can take it from here.  Next thing you know, you’ll be the one hosting! “No way” you say; “yes way” I say!  (And you know I’ve got a post coming on how to host a crawfish boil!)


Crawfish boil

Enjoy your crawfish and invite me over on etouffee or gumbo day!

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