With popular restaurants like The Boiling Crab spreading across Southern California, seafood boils are beginning to gain popularity as part of a good night out. There is something about eating from the table with your hands and a bib around your neck that helps you to put your hair down, even without alcohol! This popular restaurant was a must-visit on our West Coast tour of the USA. After all, a restaurant that perfected its craft from hosting friends and family over good food will never go wrong in our eyes. The practice of seafood boils seems to have begun from the crawfish boil, which eventually expanded to include other seafood like crabs and prawns. The crawfish boil originated from where crawfish are most plentiful - in rural communities of Cajun Louisiana. Refugees from the French colony of Acadie (modern-day Nova Scotia) in the late 1700s made their way south to Louisiana and settled in the secluded wetlands outside the port city of New Orleans. As water temperatures warm in summer, millions of these lobster-like creatures will start prowling the muddy swamps and marshes of the Bayou State. Just as well as a crawfish boil requires a huge volume of crawfish! Many families in south Louisiana own oversized propane-powered gas burners, which when fired up to full strength, can bring a 10-gallon pot of water to a rolling boil in minutes.

The huge icebreaking moment usually begins when dinner companions start eating the crawfish. In my opinion, the best way to enjoy the crawfish is to first break the head off to suck in the fatty juices, then break the crawfish at the natural soft spot in the middle to get the meat. Messiness definitely adds to the fun. Of course, end it off with a chug of beer before reaching out for the next crawfish.

That night at the Boiling Crab in Sacramento, we finished the meal with our lips and stomach on fire. But oh boy, I can still remember the lingering taste of sweet crawfish as I crawled into bed that night. Perhaps, the next step is to attempt a homemade crawfish boil? A propane burner for me this Christmas please!