I’m the sort of person who doesn’t like touching raw meat with their bare hands and whose chicken comes from the freezer section of the supermarket, no questions asked. Anything to suggest a life beyond my plate makes me feel uncomfortable. So when in New Orleans, I was at Somethin Else Cafe, caught up in the moment, eager to embrace the culture and what not, and found myself face to face with this:

Boiled Crawfish

The crawfish is boiled in garlic, lemon, and cayenne pepper and is traditionally poured directly out onto a newspaper-covered table with everyone just digging in, sucking the head and sh*t.

I tried. I really did. And I managed to nibble on bits of meat (lemony and unsatisfying for all the effort it took to shell), but those eyes just kept staring at me as I tried to pull its shell apart. Definitely not to be repeated.