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originally posted by: MichiganSwampBuck
In the Greats Lakes there is a problem with an invasive Rusty Crayfish. I like eating Crawdads, but since I don't know how to tell the difference between a native and a rusty, I haven't in a while. But yea, good eats.
Jim Gossen remembers those days, and as chairman of Louisiana Sysco Seafood, he’s been an integral part in bringing about the cultural shift. Despite selling the company to Sysco a few years ago, the Lafayette native still runs the company he founded in 1972. Gossen moved to Houston in 1975, because, as he says, that was “where the market was.” Houston didn’t know it then, but Gossen, through his involvement in pioneering Cajun-style restaurants such as Don’s, Willie G’s, and the Magnolia Bar & Grill and events like the Spring Crawfish Festival, has changed the way Houstonians (and by extension, all Texans) eat forever.
At around the same time, crawfish farming was finding its legs in Louisiana, and in some rice-growing parts of Texas too. Rice farmers realized that by flooding their fields post-harvest they could get not one but two crops from their land: one animal, and one grain, the latter subsidized by the government, the former sometimes sold for cash at the roadside. From the 1960s to today, managed crawfish ponds increased fourteen-fold, from about 10,000 acres to 144,000. Gossen estimates that less than 10 percent of all crawfish consumed are now harvested from swamps, the way virtually all of them had been when he was a youth.
As Michigan grapples with a never-before-seen invasion of red swamp "crayfish" threatening cities' infrastructures and ecosystems, mudbug experts from Lafayette have organized a Cajun culture lesson delivered in the way only Louisianians know how — a party. The event, organized by Lafayette Travel and set for Saturday afternoon in Vicksburg, Michigan, is intended to introduce Michiganders to Lafayette and its beloved delicacy.