Crawfish, music, and good times-- just the Louisiana experience

A big part of aquaculture in Louisiana is crawfish. However, it is not just a cash crop, it is part of the Louisiana experience.

Food and music are so much a part of the Louisiana way of life, songs have been written about it. At Riverside Coney Island in Monroe, the two definitely go hand-in-hand.

Tom Hardy has been serving up crawfish at Riverside since 1990. Brining that south Louisiana tradition further north. He makes the three-hour trek to Church Point, Louisiana each week during season to pick up his mud bugs-- straight from the farmer.

“Always from the farmer, we miss the middle man...” Hardy states. “I know when I get my crawfish, they were swimming today.”

So, he cleans them and they head straight for a swim in the hot tub. He has a team of boiling baristas-- although they are serving crawfish instead of caffeine. For Hardy, the recipe is not just about cayenne pepper. He has his own unique seasonings that he puts in what he calls, his “muddy river water.”

As fast as he can prepare them, they are put on platters and placed on picnic tables. Ready to be peeled and plucked from their shells, and while peeling them is considered a life skill in Louisiana and often intimidating to those who live outside the borders of the Bayou State, most say that they are worth the trouble.

While the crawfish are the crowd-pleasers, the music can be as big a side dish as the potatoes and corn. When all put together, it is the quintessential... Louisiana Saturday Night!

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