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 The head of the crayfish?

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Mike_NZ

  • Total Posts: 48
  • Joined: 1/17/2007
  • Location: South Island, New Zealand
The head of the crayfish? Sun, 01/30/11 4:13 AM (permalink)
Hi Guys,
I read a lot here, don't often post.
I was at a seafood dinner the other night, we were eating crayfish split in half.
Guy next to me starts eating the 'front-end of the cray-fish', like the brains and what-not.
Is there any great taste sensation to be had by eating this or should it be best left alone?
Is it dangerous to eat this end of the cray-fish?
 
Cheers,
Mike.
<message edited by Mike_NZ on Sun, 01/30/11 4:19 AM>
 
#1
    MellowRoast

    • Total Posts: 1933
    • Joined: 8/21/2007
    • Location: 'Nooga
    Re:The head of the crayfish? Sun, 01/30/11 5:21 AM (permalink)
    Greetings to our friends in New Zealand!  To answer your question:  No, no danger; that is how they're eaten here.  It's quite juicy, and, in the shell of the head, you'll find what gourmets consider a buttery treat.  Here's a good tutorial (a bit cutesy, but good):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUNVJdFEjBs
    And a slightly different approach:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehmvXD-j2kA
     
    Personally, I just prefer using the tail meat for "crawfish etouffee" or frying up like popcorn shrimp.  Extraordinary.  Maybe some of you native Cajuns can pipe in on this one.
    <message edited by MellowRoast on Sun, 01/30/11 5:44 AM>
     
    #2
      Sundancer7

      Re:The head of the crayfish? Sun, 01/30/11 5:51 AM (permalink)
      I spent quite a bit of time around Lafayette: LA.  As I understand it, "you suck the head and eat the tail".  That worked for me.
       
      Paul E. Smith
      Knoxville, TN
       
      #3
        MellowRoast

        • Total Posts: 1933
        • Joined: 8/21/2007
        • Location: 'Nooga
        Re:The head of the crayfish? Sun, 01/30/11 6:06 AM (permalink)
        Thanks, Sundancer.  I wanted to leave that explanation to someone else!
         
        #4
          agnesrob

          • Total Posts: 1790
          • Joined: 6/4/2006
          • Location: Park Ridge, NJ
          Re:The head of the crayfish? Sun, 01/30/11 7:35 AM (permalink)
          Mike_NZ, are you talking about large crayfish or what I might call a lobster? I have that impression since you mention they were split in half.  The answers that have been posted are about the little fresh water crayfish or "crawfish" we get in our South. Their heads I definately eat . I know that there are also fresh water crayfish in New Zealand.
           I personally wouldn't eat a lobster's head but I know that the large saltwater caught crayfish are different.
           
          #5
            MiamiDon

            Re:The head of the crayfish? Sun, 01/30/11 7:37 AM (permalink)
            I think you folks don't know what Mike is referring to.
             
            This is a split and cooked New Zealand crayfish:
             

             
             
            Here is a live one:

             
            In NZ, "crayfish" referrs to a salt-water spiny lobster, not the little bitty freshwater creatures as found in Louisiana.
             
            #6
              MellowRoast

              • Total Posts: 1933
              • Joined: 8/21/2007
              • Location: 'Nooga
              Re:The head of the crayfish? Sun, 01/30/11 7:57 AM (permalink)
              Holy Mackerel! (Or crayfish, for that matter!)  You're right, that's not exactly what I had in mind. 
               
              #7
                agnesrob

                • Total Posts: 1790
                • Joined: 6/4/2006
                • Location: Park Ridge, NJ
                Re:The head of the crayfish? Sun, 01/30/11 8:44 AM (permalink)
                MiamiDon


                I think you folks don't know what Mike is referring to.

                This is a split and cooked New Zealand crayfish:




                Here is a live one:


                In NZ, "crayfish" referrs to a salt-water spiny lobster, not the little bitty freshwater creatures as found in Louisiana.

                Thanks for posting these pics, Don. I figured that was what he was talking about. Picture how tedious it would be to split our tiny crawfish.
                 
                #8
                  Gazmik

                  • Total Posts: 18
                  • Joined: 12/3/2010
                  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
                  Re:The head of the crayfish? Sun, 01/30/11 9:40 AM (permalink)
                  MiamiDon

                  Here is a live one:


                  In NZ, "crayfish" referrs to a salt-water spiny lobster, not the little bitty freshwater creatures as found in Louisiana.

                  Yeah. Nothing like the crawdaddies that we used to catch in the creek as kids.
                   
                  #9
                    BelleReve

                    • Total Posts: 1137
                    • Joined: 8/4/2005
                    • Location: New Orleans, LA
                    Re:The head of the crayfish? Sun, 01/30/11 10:53 AM (permalink)
                    After reading Mike's post and not going any further, I guessed he was talking about something a whole lot bigger than our crawfish here.  It takes something like 7 lbs. of boiled crawfish to get 1 lb. of tail meat from it.  At crawfish boils, it's common to boil 50 lbs. of crawfish at a time.  When eating them, the tail will get popped off first, and squeezed, people will suck the crawfish boil juice from it, and some people stick their pinkie's inside and get what they call "that good crawfish fat" but I never heard of eating anything from it other than what I mentioned.  The heads and shells make a great stock.  
                     
                    It's dying out just because it's so labor intensive, but some folks used the crawfish heads for making bisque.  The heads were cleaned out after a boil and most of the parts that are recognizable as part of the head are removed, so you basically have just a shell, which was used for a stuffing made of finely chopped onions, garlic, celery etc., seasoned bread crumbs, and chopped crawfish tail meat.  These days some people will make "boulettes", where the same stuffing is formed into a ball, or torpedo-shape, and fried, then added to the bisque, as the heads once were. 
                     
                    #10
                      Mike_NZ

                      • Total Posts: 48
                      • Joined: 1/17/2007
                      • Location: South Island, New Zealand
                      Re:The head of the crayfish? Wed, 02/9/11 2:47 AM (permalink)
                      Hey thanks a lot guys and sorry I never made myself a bit clearer about what I was actually referring to.
                       
                      Mike.
                       
                      #11
                        EdSails

                        • Total Posts: 3588
                        • Joined: 5/9/2003
                        • Location: Mission Viejo, CA
                        Re:The head of the crayfish? Thu, 02/10/11 12:58 PM (permalink)
                        Mike_NZ,
                        I can't think of many things that are as confusing as that. Some call crawfish crayfish, crawdads or mudbugs. Out here in California there is the confusion between the local spiny (clawless) lobsters and the Maine (with claws) lobsters flown in here. And I have seen them called crayfish too. The important thing to know, they're all delicious!
                        I just am having a blast though, imagining someone trying to suck the head of a six pound crayfish. Talk about a big mouth!

                         
                        #12
                          Sundancer7

                          Re:The head of the crayfish? Thu, 02/10/11 1:18 PM (permalink)
                          EdSails


                          Mike_NZ,
                          I can't think of many things that are as confusing as that. Some call crawfish crayfish, crawdads or mudbugs. Out here in California there is the confusion between the local spiny (clawless) lobsters and the Maine (with claws) lobsters flown in here. And I have seen them called crayfish too. The important thing to know, they're all delicious!
                          I just am having a blast though, imagining someone trying to suck the head of a six pound crayfish. Talk about a big mouth!


                           
                          Do not worry about sucking the head, just eat the tail

                          Paul E. Smith
                          Knoxville, TN
                           
                          #13
                            Michael Hoffman

                            • Total Posts: 17845
                            • Joined: 7/1/2000
                            • Location: Gahanna, OH
                            Re:The head of the crayfish? Thu, 02/10/11 3:17 PM (permalink)
                            Well, you have to get the meat out of the legs, too.
                             
                            #14
                              Sundancer7

                              Re:The head of the crayfish? Thu, 02/10/11 4:48 PM (permalink)
                              As far as the crayfish goes, I have always been more of a tail person than a feet.  Feet have never been a fetish of mine.
                               
                              Paul E. Smith
                              Knoxville, TN
                               
                              #15
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