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eating crawfish at quality seafood
Hey y'all, 

I posted this photo of me eating crawfish at Quality Seafood, one of my favorite restaurants here in Austin, and @kodychamberlain responded: 

When I was a poor kid growing in Thibodaux, Louisiana, crawfish was a poor man's food. It was a little embarrassing to tell people you ate crawfish because they'd laugh. You'd certainly never find crawfish in a restaurant, that'd be laughable. Through the years crawfish became socially acceptable and widely consumed, and that created scarcity. It's since become an expensive delicacy that the poor can rarely afford. I heard that for the first time Texas consumed more crawfish than Louisiana...

Which reminded me of the history of lobster I first read about in David Foster Wallace's Consider The Lobster (here's the original article, written for Gourmet), but explained more in-depth in Mother Jones:

“In colonial North America, [lobster] was most commonly found in the dinner troughs of pigs, cows, and goats, its shells ground up and scattered over the rest of the farm as manure. William Wood, a British historian visiting Canada’s Newfoundland in the early 17th century said dismissively of local lobsters: ‘Their plenty makes them little esteemed and seldom eaten [except by the Indians who] get many of them every day for to baite their hooks withal and to eat when they can get no bass.’

Indeed, it's no exaggeration to say that people were downright ashamed to eat lobster. “Lobster shells about a house are looked upon as signs of poverty and degradation,” wrote American observer John Rowan in the mid-19th century. Peddlers in Portland, Maine carried lobsters around in wheelbarrows, selling them on the street to working class Irish immigrants. In one Massachusetts town, a group of indentured servants became so upset at their lobster-heavy diet that they took their masters to court and won a judgment protecting them from having to eat it more than three times a week.”


The next sentence is worth emphasizing: “It was the abundance of lobster that made it boring.”

Now I'm thinking: What's abundant and boring now that one day might be scarce and exotic?

xoxo, 

Austin

Links worth clicking


I talked about my favorite podcasts with Podcast Thing.

The composer Erik Satie was a funky dude.

Lynda Barry's first solo show has opened in NYC.

David Lynch’s hand-drawn map of Twin Peaks.

I was quite taken with the strange, somewhat obscure 1965 novel Stoner.

Music! Jimi Hendrix on the Lulu Show in 1969Nirvana's rehearsals for their 1993 MTV unplugged, The Everly Brothers in 1960, and Genesis's â€œHere Comes the Supernatural Anaesthetist.”

Happy birthday to one of my favorite comics of all-time: John Porcellino's King-Cat is 25 years old!

Looking for headphones? Here are my favorites.

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