American Culture, Baton Rouge, Life at LSU

Crawfish boils among LSU Global students’ favorite Louisiana traditions

LSU Global student Denise Poveda, from Panama, meets a Louisiana crawfish for the first time.

Talal Al Hashmi had never eaten crawfish before he arrived at LSU three years ago.

Now, the petroleum engineering student from United Arab Emirates starts every spring semester asking LSU Global staff members on what day the program’s annual crawfish boil will be held.

The event celebrating one of Louisiana’s most famous traditions has quickly become a favorite for not only Talal, but international students from several countries worldwide.

“Crawfish is a really unique animal β€” I had never seen or heard of such a creature,” Talal said. “To many people, trying new things is tough. However, in the case of me trying crawfish, it was love at first bite. The amount of flavor is insane, and that first bite, I got hooked.

“For me, the best part of the crawfish boil and what I look forward to is the fact that hands-down it’s the best social event all semester.”

LSU Global student Ibrahem El Ghetrify, from Egypt, takes pictures of crawfish before the boil

LSU Global student Ibrahem El Ghetrify, from Egypt, takes pictures of crawfish before the boil.

Students from more than 15 different countries gathered this week for the 2018 feast β€” complete with not only crawfish and the most-common side dishes of corn and potatoes, but also other vegetarian options, dessert and a variety of games and activities.

“One of my favorite parts of crawfish boils in Louisiana is the community aspect,” said Brian Webb, LSU Global’s student services director. “Families and friends gather close around one table and share this meal and talk about their day or their week and just have a great time. So we really love emphasizing that dynamic to our LSU Global Family.”

Temperature, precipitation and other weather dynamics affect the timing and span for which the crustaceans are most well-sized, readily available and reasonably priced.

But the height of “Crawfish season” generally begins in late February or early March and runs through late May or early June.

And, just like Louisiana residents, international students eagerly await their opportunity to enjoy the spicy, delicious tradition every spring.

“Crawfish here is very unusual from other places,” said LSU Global student Ivan Sokolov, from Belarus. “The spices are very Louisianan, and it’s awesome. Spices here are not so hot, but the flavor is very strong. You will remember this flavor and this taste for all your life. Crawfish was a new discovery for me, and it was one of the tastiest foods I have ever tried in the United States.”

Check out photos from this year’s event below, plus video of students discussing the 2017 crawfish boil!


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