Crawfish festival: “Cajun spices and mud just taste so good”

ccope@thestate.comMay 3, 2014 

— On Saturday, A Louisiana native slammed down crawfish after crawfish, getting in line a second time for another pile of the bright red critters at the Rosewood Crawfish Festival.

Jenni Abramowicz said she was surprised at how “on point,” the crawfish were. She and her husband, who both now live in Irmo, did not even sit down under the large crowded tent that was packed with people eating the crustaceans. They stood in front of a makeshift table in the form of a big water jug that was holding down the tent.

“Pinch the tail and suck the head,” Jenni Abramowicz said while demonstrating the proper method to devour the food shipped up from Louisiana for the annual festival in Columbia’s Rosewood community.

Sucking the head gets out all of the juices, she said.

“They’ll tell you you’re sucking out the brains, but you’re not,” she said.

After that, it’s like peeling shrimp, she said.

Jack Sheffield, with The Caterer in Charleston, already had crawfish tails peeled as he put piles of them in batter and fried them for a large line of people at the festival.

Sheffield, who also goes by “Alligator Jack,” moved to Charleston in the late 1980s from Baton Rouge.

He has been spreading the crawfish word ever since he moved here, he said.

Sheffield said he would use harnesses and traps catch alligators in Louisiana just like they do on reality television.

While she might not have caught alligators, when Jenni Abramowicz lived in Louisiana, she used to catch crawfish in her back yard. She would set up nets and catch three or four at a time then release them.

When she was younger she would put the crawfish to sleep by stroking them on the back of the head between their eyes.

Then the crawfish are in a trance.

“You can look that up on Google, I promise it’s true,” Jenni Abramowicz said.

Aside from putting crawfish to sleep, she’s also been pinched by them.

“It’s a more intense pinch than being bit by a lizard,” she said.

Her husband is not from Louisiana, but he still enjoys eating the mudbugs.

“Cajun spices and mud just taste so good,” Adam Abramowicz.

The two appear to love crawfish nearly as much as they love each other.

On the day of their wedding, right before the ceremony, they were both drinking beer and eating crawfish, Adam Abramowicz said.

“I got married with crawfish guts on my collar,” he said.

Reach Cope at (803) 771-8657.

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