When they're ready, the crawfish are tossed out directly onto a covered table along with corn, whole red potatoes, sausage, and mushrooms (which I learned are prized possessions that disappear quickly as they soak up all the yummy juices).
Despite the effort required to break into those little crawfish tails, I really enjoyed them. Compared to other shellfish, they taste fairly light. Not as rich and buttery as shrimp or lobster...to me, they seem like the trout of the shellfish world. A perfect canvas for some cajun spices!
As a crawfish virgin, I was subject to some teasing. A couple of clever pranksters standing next to us overheard my exaggerated enthusiasm and decided to take advantage of my naivete. They nonchalantly nudged a "mutated" crawfish my way, and within a few minutes, they had me...hook, line, and sinker!
"Is that a crab? Oh my gosh! No--wait--it's a two-headed crawfish! Holy smokes! A TWO-HEADED CRAWFISH!!!"
Thanks to my posse for bailing me out...I may have been claiming I'd seen the Sasquatch before too long...it just looked so real!
In spite of the shellfish shenanigans, I'd say my first crawfish tale was a delicious success.