Low Country Boil

--Informant Info--
Nationality:
Age: 31
Occupation: Student
Residence:
Date of Performance/Collection:
Primary Language: English
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I don’t know why they call it a low country boil. Probably because it comes from Lousiana, in the swampland. Anyways, it’s a south eastern thing, and you do it outside traditionally in a big old pot. It is often accompanied by bonfires and lots of alcohol.

My dad fills the pot with water and Old Bay seasoning (very important) and fills it with snow crab legs, crawfish, shrimp, eggs, corn, spicy sausage, and potatoes. And, while it’s cooking everybody is drinking and playing games like cornhole to pass the time. When it’s finally done cooking, we pull the big foldable outdoor table out and line it with newspaper and empty the contents of the drained pot directly on the table. Everyone gathers around, and its basically a free-for-all food grab – usually without plates or utensils – where we talk and grub out.

Pro tip: the best way to eat is crawfish is to take it, twist the tail off and suck on the head, getting all the delicious residual juices of the boil.

Context: [informant] I was raised in Florida and we do this for family, birthdays, or whatever, usually in the summer.

Analysis: Having been to a low country boil I can attest that the informant is spot on with their example. The Old Bay seasoning seems to be a staple in a country boil, and the process can get really messy, but fun. Although the seafood is a central component, I think one of the biggest draws of the boil is the social aspect of being surrounded by friends and family, pigging out without the rules associated with traditional dinners. No body is judging you, food is falling on the floor, but nobody cares… you are just having a good time.