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Food Porn Friday: Mudbug madness!

Crawfish cavatelli, an upscale riff on crawfish Monica, at Borgne

When the temperature begins to rise in the early part of the year in New Orleans, and the first buds begin to appear on the trees left barren throughout the winter, it's a signal that spring is in the air.  And when spring arrives, my mind turns to one thing and one thing alone.

Crawfish.

Ask any New Orleanian worth his Tony Chacherie's the best ways to prepare the beloved mudbug, and you're liable to come away with a litany of dishes rattled off in Bubba Gump fashion: crawfish pasta, crawfish gumbo, crawfish etouffee, crawfish po-boy, crawfish remoulade, crawfish salad...and on, and on, and on.

Spring is an exciting time for crawfish on restaurant menus, as well, since local chefs adore the chance to incorporate the treasured crustaceans into their cuisine.  On a recent visit to Borgne, Chef Brian Landry knocked my socks off with his elevated take on crawfish Monica: a dish of cavatelli pasta with crawfish tails, brussels sprouts, pioppini musrooms and a mascarpone crawfish cream sauce.

However, if you were to hold a gun to my head (note: please don't hold a gun to my head) and ask me to pick only one favorite crawfish preparation, I'd have to go with good ole fashioned spicy boiled mudbugs.  Call me a purist.  Give me five or six pounds, with new potatoes, corn on the cob, and plenty of cold beer, and I'd be happier than a hog in slop.

How do you like your crawfish?


Native New Orleans food writer Scott Gold, author of The Shameless Carnivore, has written for Gourmet, The New Orleans Advocate, Gambit, ThrillistEdible Brooklyn, Tasting Table, The Faster Times, and other publications. His Food Porn Friday column for NolaVie offers a weekly mouth-watering photo essay designed to start culinary conversations in the Big Easy. Find him on Twitter @scottgold.