Text (festival/traditional food)
“The Crawfish festival is a classic festival we’ve all been to growing up since it has carnival rides, games, and good food you can only really find in the south.”
My informant was born and raised in Texas and has been to the festival with family and friends numerous times since they were a child.
Q: “What is the crawfish festival?”
A: “The crawfish festival is a festival usually celebrated in southern states and includes carnival games, vendors, crawfish, and other southern comfort foods. It’s basically a celebration of southern culture and hospitality where people come together and appreciate community and popular southern delicacies.
The Crawfish Festival is popular in Louisiana, Texas, and other southern states for both locals and visitors to come together, enjoy, and commemorate southern culinary traditions not typically found in regions outside of the south. Crawfish isn’t the only traditional culinary form available at the festival, there also includes crawfish, étouffée, jambalaya, and more. These traditional foods are all part of Cajun and Creole cuisine. Crawfish are popular in Creole cuisine as they are abundantly found in the south, étouffée is a roux including crawfish and other seafood topped over rice, and jambalaya is another rice-based dish including sausage, chicken, and seafood typically served at large gatherings. People of all backgrounds and cultures travel to the south to participate in the Crawfish Festival as this is a way for cultural heritage and culinary lore to be spread and enjoyed across various communities. Seafood and dark meat products were major food sources for enslaved African Americans. This cuisine is a reflection of various influences and factors representative of a larger cultural identity in African American communities. Appadurai discusses the cultural significance of cultural cuisines in asserting cultural identity and representations of class hierarchies. These southern foods commonly eaten by enslaved African Americans, is an acknowledgment of African American resistance to slavery while embracing cultural customs predominately seen in the southern United States. This is representative of how culinary lore and recipes move where people don’t as they assert a cultural identity and exemplify resistance to the impacts of colonialism.